Could Menthol Cigarettes be more Dangerous than Regular?

The FDA is warning today that menthol cigarettes could be more of risk to public wellness than the regular kind, because the cool menthol flavour may make them more addictive. The FDA report into the wellbeing of those who smoke raised health concerns about menthol cigarettes, saying that the menthol has a numbing and cooling effect which can mask the bitterness of cigarette smoke. The report also highlighted the fact that menthol cigarettes may help young people to become addicted to smoking, as they are not put off by the harsh, smoky taste that used to inhibit so many young people from starting to smoke.


The review went public today and concludes that these menthol cigarettes, whilst not in themselves more dangerous than regular cigarettes, pose a greater danger to public health because they are more addictive. The FDA is now seeking further guidance from the tobacco industry and health community about whether there should be restrictions placed on menthol flavoured products, even though they do not contain any more toxins than the regular kind.


There have already been reports that the FDA could phase out or even ban outright menthol cigarettes, and this could be the next step in this process. An advisory panel has already told the FDA back in 2011 that removing menthol cigarettes for sale would mean that less young people became addicted to smoking, and would also make quitting more desirable and perhaps even easier. The review also believes that there is a perception that menthol cigarettes are in some way healthier than the regular kind, because people associate the cool, fresh taste with a better level of health than the harsh, smoky taste that used to be the norm.

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