The use of tobacco in any form can be hazardous to one’s health, but despite mass amounts of research people continue to smoke and chew, often times leading to serious health issues and even death.Big tobacco companies are being urged to stop selling menthol cigarettes by the Citizens’ Commission to Protect the Truth. The group is comprised of former top health officials consisting of former U.S. Secretaries of Health, Surgeons General, and Directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The group believes that banning menthol cigarettes is “imperative to avoid encouraging children and teens to start and continue smoking and to avoid the devastating impact of menthol cigarettes on the African-American community,” says former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Louis W. Sullivan, MD.
American’s are heavily targeted by big tobacco companies' menthol cigarette marketing campaigns, over time it has contributed to smoking related deaths throughout the community. Menthol masks the undesirable taste of tobacco, in turn making it harder to quit, according to the group.
In a letter to the FDA, the attorneys general of 24 states said “there are numerous law enforcement tools that can be used to combat production or importation of unlawful tobacco products. Moreover, the quantity of menthol cigarettes that could be made available on the black market would be far less than the quantity that will be available if menthol remains legal. Therefore, a ban on menthol would dramatically decrease public access to menthol cigarettes.”