Are you a smoker? If so, this may not be good news for you.
In a recent interview with The Washington Post, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency is proposing a ban on all menthol cigarettes, citing youth and minority smoking rates.
The reason for the push? The FDA figures show that more than 19 million Americans smoke menthol cigarettes. Studies have also suggested that using menthol makes it more difficult to quit smoking, according to the FDA. Also, menthol may reduce the irritation and harshness of smoking making it easier to continue smoking. Statistics say more than half of youth smokers are smoking menthol, including a disproportionate number of minorities who also smoke menthol cigarettes.
Such a ban would take several years to execute, however it is one that several other nations have already implemented. Canada has a ban in progress as well and the European Union’s menthol ban goes into effect in 2020. Looks like that may well be where we are headed here in the states too.
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