Last April the FDA announced the long discussed ban on menthols, launching a consultation process which closed yesterday, on July 5th, 2022. A recent study published in BMJ’s Tobacco Control, concluded that a menthol ban would avoid 16,250 tobacco-related deaths per year by 2060.
“This work is the culmination of a series of sequential projects aimed to assess the impact that a menthol ban could have on smoking, tobacco use and downstream health effects,” said study author Rafael Meza, a professor of epidemiology at U-M’s School of Public Health. “Our findings show that a menthol ban could result in considerable health gains and highlight the urgency for final approval and implementation of the ban.”
Finally earlier this week, the director of the Mayo Clinic Dr. J. Taylor Hays announced that the proposed ban which “would probably save hundreds of thousands of lives over the next three or four decades” is now under final review. “The FDA is moving to eliminate menthol in tobacco,” said Dr. J. Taylor Hays during a media call on Monday, Aug. 1. “It is long in coming, and I think it is the right move for public health.”
Hays went on to refer to the known cooling effect of the products, saying that it facilitates smoking by making it feel smoother. “It provides a local anesthetic, if you will, a cooling effect,” he said. “That reduces irritability and the cough reflex and, frankly, makes it easier to smoke what otherwise would be a very harsh smoke … making it easier to start, easier to continue, and quicker to get hooked, because it increases your nicotine exposure.”
The effectivity of menthol bans
Meanwhile, recent data from Massachusetts has confirmed that the local menthol ban has led to a decline in all cigarette sales across the state. Titled, “Association of Cigarette Sales With Comprehensive Menthol Flavor Ban in Massachusetts,” the study reported that sales of all cigarettes in Massachusetts declined by up to 33% after a ban on menthol-flavoured cigarettes went in effect.
Over the same time period reported the study, cigarette sales in 33 states that did not set in place a menthol flavour ban fell by 8%, while sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes declined by 3%, said the researchers. “We learn from Massachusetts that a menthol flavor ban effectively reduces both menthol and overall cigarette sales,” said study co-author Samuel Asare as quoted by UPI.
Read Further: Duluth News Tribune
US: New Jersey Proposes Introducing Menthol Ban Before The FDA’s