On 13th April, the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) released an announcement proposing a ban on the manufacture and sales of menthol cigarettes, along with all flavored cigars. They indicated that they are open to public opinions till July 5th, before they make a final decision.
Some ask, “what are menthol cigarettes?”. Menthol cigarettes are cigars that are laced with the chemical compound; menthol obtained naturally from peppermint oil, which cools the otherwise burning sensation of cigarettes.
Others ask, “why to ban menthol cigarettes?”. Menthol cigarettes should be banned because they are particularly harmful, as they reduce the displeasure that comes from smoking. They create a cooling effect, making cigars easier to consume. It makes it less uncomfortable for youths to try out smoking for the first time, thereby contributing to the continuous increase of smokers in the population and making them less likely to quit in the long run. A ban on it therefore would curb the rate of increase in cigarette consumption.
Nevertheless, some concerns have been raised over the ban. One is that the ban might give rise to an illegal market, and another is that it might cause conflicts and arrests of Black people.
Despite these takes, Vaughan Rees, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, in a May 9 science article has said that he sees no downside to the ban of menthol cigarettes.
With or without menthol in cigarettes, smokers remain liable to die young!.