FDA Is Planning To Ban Menthol Cigarettes In The US
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Today, 28 April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its plan to ban menthol cigarettes.
Much to the dismay of chain-smokers everywhere, menthol cigarettes are soon to be a thing of the past.
Whether you love menthol cigarettes, or think the idea of mint and tobacco is a crime, they're really bad for your health.
It's this fact that's behind the impending ban in the US, as health experts suggest that hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved by the move.
The soon-to-be-implemented ban is the first real action the US government has taken to control tobacco use.
With FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf telling the Senate committee that the ban 'improve the health and reduce the mortality risk of current smokers of menthol cigarettes or flavoured cigars by substantially decreasing their consumption and increasing the likelihood of cessation'.
The New York Times reports that the ban would have the most significant impact on Black smokers, with 85% choosing to smoke menthol; this is compared to 29% of White menthol smokers.
According to public health experts, this is because over the decades menthol cigarettes have been heavily marketed to Black people; with African American men showing the highest rates of lung cancer in the US.
This, Erika Sward from the American Lung Association says: "Will be the single most significant action taken by the F.D.A. in its almost 13-year history of regulating tobacco products."
While the ban is sure to have a positive health impact, not everyone is behind it and we'll give you one guess as to who that might be...
Yep, it's tobacco companies.
Cigarette manufacturer Altria says: "We believe harm reduction, not prohibition, is the better path forward. Taking these products out of the legal marketplace will push them into unregulated, criminal markets that don’t follow any regulations and ignore minimum age laws," as reported by The Washington Post.
Despite pushback, the ban is set to go ahead, after several prior attempts.
The FDA has moved to ban menthol cigarettes before, but faced significant pushback from tobacco companies and congress members, as reported by the Associate Press.
UNILAD has reached out to Altria for comment.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week.