Menthol cigarettes - easier to tolerate for the first time smoker - our kids...

Ebony Magazine - 1970,
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January 9, 2011 - On June 22, 2009, the President signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) (Public Law 111-31) into law. The Tobacco Control Act grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health generally and to reduce tobacco use by children and adolescents. Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for Health Human Services. "This is designed to prevent our children from becoming the next generation of Americans to die early from tobacco-related illnesses." Also, the law may prevent our children from being dependent on nicotine their whole lives.

Some of our previous news briefs on menthol:
October 20, 2010 - African American groups - mixed feelings on the banning of menthol cigarettes..;
July 15, 2010 - More on the defense of menthol - the Tobacco Industry..;
December 14, 2009 - Menthol cigarettes - if banned, how can this be accomplished??;
October 5, 2009 - For our children ban all flavored tobacco products..;
September 2, 2008 - Orlowsky Defends Lorillard's Marketing of Menthol Cigarettes...
One of the first provisions of this law that went into effect in September 2009 was a ban on flavored cigarettes. However, this ban did not include menthol cigarettes and did not apply to any other type of flavored tobacco products such as cigars, hookah or smokeless tobacco products.

Menthol is much more than a flavoring. The cooling, analgesic, taste, and respiratory effects of menthol are well established, and studies have indicated that menthol’s sensory attributes can have an influence on the positive, or rewarding, properties associated smoking, including ratings of satisfaction, taste, perceived smoothness, and perceived irritation.

Menthol has been used for years in cough and cold remedies. Most of menthol's effects on the respiratory tract are because of stimulation of cold receptors producing a "cool sensation," and menthol cigarettes indeed do contain enough menthol to produce that sensation. These same sensations our felt by the menthol smokers making it much easier to tolerate the smoking of cigarettes.

The use of menthol as an cough supressant goes back over one hundred years when in 1890 a pharmacist, Lunsford Richardson, from Greensboro, North Carolina developed a topical rub for the treatment of whooping cough (product later became Vicks Vapo Rub). When menthol cigarettes were discovered by Lloyd "Spud" Hughes in the early 1920s he was inhaling menthol crystals to provide relief for a cold while seeking a cigarette when possible. (Lloyd "SPUD" Hughes from Mingo Junction, OH Built the House of Menthol Cigarettes)

Menthol makes smoking even more palatable to new smokers by stimulating cold receptors, soothing the throat and easing the discomfort associated with smoking. Menthol is, therefore, disproportionately smoked by younger and newer smokers. Almost half of young smokers smoke menthols, compared with less than one-third of smokers over the age of 25. In addition, 60 percent of smokers in middle-school smoke menthols—the highest rates among all age groups. Newport, the top-selling menthol brand, has only a 10 percent market share, but the brand is smoked by 17 percent of new smokers (A Smokescreen Against Banning Menthol in Cigarettes by John Payton,, 11/12/2010.

The share of smokers using menthol cigarettes increased from 31% in 2004 to 33.9% in 2008, with more pronounced increases among young smokers, according to AP, citing a study released by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)in November. It also showed that among black smokers, 82.6% used menthol cigarettes, compared with 32.3% for Hispanic smokers and 23.8% for white smokers. (More on the defense of menthol - the Tobacco Industry..)

Our children are the future, as a result our highest priority has to be to keep children from beginning to use all tobacco products.



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