The FDA announced on Tuesday that they have conducted a preliminary evaluation regarding menthol cigarettes and that they may pose a greater health risk than unflavored ones.
The findings came with a 153-page study following a move by congress and the FDA to ban fruit and spice-flavored cigarettes due to their overwhelming popularity with young people. Although the study doesn’t show that menthol cigarettes are more harmful than any other kind, scientists say that the strong mint flavor helps to mask the strength of the tobacco and can make them more addictive and, subsequently, harder to lay down.
Several reports have been done in recent years backing both the pro-menthol side and the side that would see them banned. RJ Reynolds and Lorillard Tobacco–the company that makes Newports–had their own study done which seemed to suggest that banning menthol cigarettes would have dire effects on both the tobacco market and public health.
“The evidence unequivocally shows that the result would be a dramatically larger illegal cigarette market than currently exists,” the report said. “As a result, there also would be severe negative impacts on public health, including exposure of smokers to more harmful contraband cigarettes, increased access of youth to tobacco, increased criminal activity particularly in urban communities, reduced government revenues and loss of jobs.”
Camel has recently come under fire for their Crush cigarettes, which feature a flavor capsule inside the filter. Lawmakers argued that the sticks appealed to young people and should therefore not be advertised in certain magazines and online markets. But while the findings might suggest harm to the consumer, lawmakers say it will take years to push a ban measure forward against them.