Posts Tagged ban menthol cigarettes
Some menthol cigarette companies are spending extravagantly on marketing ads and maintaining low prices of their products to be able to attract the African-American youth population, a new study says.
In the latest issue of the Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal, researchers at the Stanford University have uncovered that menthol cigarette manufacturers have their eyes set on the youth market. In California high schools, rampant marketing ads can be found near these institutions and cigarettes sold in areas have lower prices, giving students more reasons to try smoking.
In the study conducted, proponents randomly visited convenience stores and food shops near high schools. They have observed that in places where more black kids study, some cigarette brands are priced lower and more enticing advertisements are scattered all over the place.
As an example, the study focused on one of the popular brands of menthol cigarettes, Newport. They recorded that for every 10% increase in the proportion of African-American students in nearby schools, their product is priced twelve cents lower. This system of marketing though was not observed for non-menthol brands like Marlboro.
Senior researcher Lisa Henriksen from the Stanford Prevention Research Center says that lower prices would naturally result to more cigarettes being bought and consumed. “We think our study, which shows the predatory marketing in school neighborhoods with higher concentrations of youth and African-American students, fits a broad definition of harm.”
In this study, researchers were able to show that most teens prefer mentholated cigarettes. On students aged 12 to 17 years old, menthol cigarettes were preferred by 71.9% African-Americans, 47% of Hispanics, and 41% of whites.
An advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration has released its report on menthol cigarettes, a report that some expected would lead to a ban on menthol cigarettes.
The FDA panel did not recommend a ban, but they did call for further studies into the issue. With that, the FDA may resort to more modest action, such as imposing marketing restrictions that will limit access to menthol cigarettes by young people, instead of the full-blown ban that was implemented on flavored cigarettes.
The report, however, discussed the “special dangers” that menthol cigarettes may bring. It concluded that “removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States,” but did not take the next step: recommend that these should actually be taken off the market.
This means that the decision to ban – or not to ban – is left solely to the discretion of the FDA.
There is evidence that menthol cigarettes contribute significantly to the increase in smoking rates among young adolescents. Smoking, according to research, is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. it leads to 443,000 deaths per year, and medical care expenses of $100 billion. It also costs $100 billion a year in lost productivity.