Smoking is probably the most frowned upon practice by healthcare providers around the world. There are already numerous restrictions on tobacco products, and the FDA plans to take them even further with a new ban on flavored cigarettes and cigars.
The menthol flavor will be affected
The ban will affect every flavor, including menthol, which is probably the most popular. The FDA claims that its goal is to reduce the deaths associated with smoking significantly. Currently, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics are anything to go by.
FDA’s acting commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock, says that these actions will help prevent the youth who are not already smoking from getting enticed by these exciting flavors. She also hopes that the ban will help motivate current smokers to quit. According to the last CDC statistics, menthol-flavored cigarettes made up a third of all cigarette sales in the US.
The commission hopes to have the ban in place in a year. They cannot affect the ban immediately because it has to go through a legal public participation period.
Apart from manufacturers, the regulations would also apply to retailers, distributors, importers, and wholesalers, making it impossible for the product to make it to the market.
Mitch Zeller, director at the FDA’s Center for Tobacco, Mentholated cigarette flavors, are heavily advertised to racial minority groups. CDC polls reveal that close to 47% of menthol-flavored cigarettes are Hispanic, 38% are Asians, while an astonishing 85% are Black. On the other hand, only 29% are non-Hispanic whites.
Studies also show that menthol flavors appeal to non-tobacco users and can lead non-smokers to being habitual smokers. Menthol flavors are also more difficult to quit compared to regular tobacco products. Studies reveal that if menthol flavors were banned, over 900,000 active smokers would stop smoking.
Saving the Black population
President of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson, says that the tobacco industry has been targeting the African American market for decades. He adds that it is responsible for many heart conditions suffered by the population.