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FDA: Menthol Cigarettes Likely Pose a Greater Public Health Risk Than Regular Cigarettes — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 24, 2013

FDA: Menthol Cigarettes Likely Pose a Greater Public Health Risk Than Regular Cigarettes

By Kelly Young

Menthol cigarettes likely constitute a public health hazard beyond regular cigarettes, according to an FDA review released Tuesday. The agency is considering tightening the rules on menthol cigarettes.

The review of studies found that menthol in cigarettes is likely associated with changed physiologic responses to tobacco smoke, increased initiation of smoking by youth (later progressing to regular cigarettes), increased dependence, and reduced likelihood of successfully quitting smoking. People who are younger, female, black, and of a lower socioeconomic background are more likely than other groups to smoke menthols.

Menthol is not associated with biomarker changes, smoke toxicity, or increased risk for disease, compared with nonmenthol cigarettes.

The agency is seeking public input before it takes any regulatory action.

Reader Comments (1)

Linda Perry, CM Other Healthcare Professional, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Private Practice

These cigarettes are marketed to youth, specifically, teenage girls. Not only is the Menthol flavor an attraction for young girls, but even the pink cigarettes and packaging produced by Marlboro. There are pink, purple, and even pink cigarettes with little while butterflies on them. This directed marketing to an underage demographic is dispicable.

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