For our children ban all flavored tobacco products..

October 5, 2009 - Our children are the future, as a result our highest priority has to be to keep children from beginning to use tobacco products. As an initial step the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of candy-, fruit- and clove-flavored cigarettes on September 22, 2009 - three months after the President Barack Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

FDA commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg: “These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers.” The Washington Post said FDA officials hope the ban will “cut down on the number of children and young adults who pick up the smoking habit.” Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco, said, “Children are three times as likely as adults to smoke a flavored cigarette.” An assistant secretary for health, Howard Koh, called tobacco addiction a “public health catastrophe,” and Koh put the cigarette industry on notice that this is just the beginning of a “new chapter in public health efforts at tobacco control.”

This time we must be honest with each other. As pointed out by Derrick Jackson - big tobacco really did not mind taking these flavored cigarettes of the market. These cigarettes were not even one percent of the market. Menthol, the most popular flavored cigarette and the one preferred by the majority of black smokers, was allowed to stay on the market. The three biggest U.S. tobacco companies say they do not produce any flavored cigarettes other than menthol varieties. "We do not believe any of the cigarettes that we manufacture have a characterizing flavor that is banned by this provision," David Howard, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the second-largest producer, said. Philip Morris USA, the maker of the top-selling Marlboro brand, sells no cigarettes covered by the ban, said David Sylvia, an Altria spokesman. Nor does third-biggest Lorillard Inc., said Hannah Sloane, a company spokeswoman.

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Terry F. Pechacek, associate director for science in the Office on Smoking and Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “We are continuing to find that Marlboro, Newport and Camel brands, among the most heavily advertised brands, continue to be overwhelmingly the preferred brands of cigarettes smoked by middle school and high-school students.”

Menthol, by masking the harsh taste of tobacco, makes cigarettes easier to get started with. Jack Reid (1993) from Lorillard (at the 47th Tobacco Chemist's Research Conference) stated that the use of mentholated products was initially promoted to offer an alternative to the heavy, harsh-tasting, hot and many times unpleasant experience of some non-mentholated cigarettes. The "cool sensation" experienced at low concentrations of menthol have been exploited by the tobacco industry touting menthol cigarettes as "refreshing," "cool" and possessing an aura of "springtime."

A Harvard study from the School of Public Health claims that the tobacco industry in recent years has manipulated menthol levels in cigarettes to hook youngsters and maintain loyalty among smoking adults. (Menthol Dose Manipulated, Study Says by Stephanie Saul, The New York Times, 7/17/2008)

Despite the decline of overall cigarette sales, the sale of menthol cigarettes has been stable in recent years. Menthol cigarettes currently make up about 30 percent of the $87 billion US cigarette market. Menthol market share..

Under the bill to regulate tobacco, the FDA must study the medical effects and marketing of menthol and its impact on blacks, Hispanics and other groups and report within 18 months. In theory, the FDA could then move to ban menthol cigarettes but some anti-smoking activists are skeptical the agency will do so. Marty Orlowsky, Lorillard's Director, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer stated that study results will be announced sometime toward the end of 2010 (Barclays Capital Back-To-School Consumer Conference, Sept. 10, 2009). Newport, gives Lorillard 94% of its revenue, 92% of its volumes, 34% share of all menthol cigarette sales in the US, as well as an overall domestic tobacco market share of 10%.

If we agree our children are our future, and we want to protect them from a life of tobacco addictions then mentholated tobacco products have to go. In fact - all flavored tobacco products should be removed.

Reference: Let’s ban all flavors of cigarettes by Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe, 9/26/2009; Companies Use Menthol To Attract Young Smokers, RedOrbit, 7/17/2008; FDA bans flavored cigarettes by Catherine Larkin and Chris Burritt, Bloomberg News - The Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/24/2009, A history of mentholated cigarettes "This Spud's For You," Highlights of Current Rsearch on Tobacco and Tobacco Chemistry, JR Reid, Recent Advances in Tobacco Science 19: 71-84, 1993; Ashes to Ashes - America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War the Public Health and Unbalanced Triumph of Philip Morris, R. Kluger, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996.



November 12, 2010 at 4:58 AM

Ban Tobacco for our children
If you are born after 1995,you are not allowed to buy cigarettes. Tobacco sales will slowly degrades and tobacco companies will have enough time to "plant something else". We need to protect our future and think ahead.