US regulators are planning to ban menthol cigarettes if they impose stricter rules on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, to prevent Americans – especially young ones – from being enticed into dangerous habits.
Officials at the US Food and Drug Administration told the Wall Street Journal that menthol cigarettes are known to be more difficult to quit, probably because the taste softens the throat as they inject a hit of addictive nicotine.
Flammable cigarettes have taken a back seat, while the FDA is running a vendetta on e-cigarettes, which are increasing under the popularity of young people, rather than adults trying to stop, which should be the target market.
But this week, Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the FDA, has unveiled a number of strategies that he intends to investigate to take a firmer look at smoking in each group.
Among e-cigarettes, he plans to make it more difficult to buy flavored products underage – even online – since that is how most young people seem to start. Menthol cigarettes are the second most popular among young people, so he cuts that offer loosely.
Officials at the FDA said menthol cigarettes are known to be harder to quit, probably because the taste softens the throat as they inject a hit of addictive nicotine.
The ban can take two years to reach the market, says the Wall Street Journal.
The agency presented data for the first time in 2013 that show that menthols are harder to stop, but only recently have suggested that they can move to banish them.
Today, officials from the FDA have confirmed the Journal that the agency continues with its steady push against coin-operated machines – as the tobacco industry is pushing back.
Speaking of Politico's Pulsecheck podcast this morning, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that he has no immediate plans to ban or restrict the sale of minty e-cigarettes because he is bursting with attractive flavors.
When it comes to e-cigarettes, he concentrates on fruity flavors, which he says are most attractive to young, never-smokers.
But for smokers who try to quit, the devices are certainly safer than tobacco products, and they need something that does not remind them of the sticks that had made them addicted in the first place.
& # 39; Would you like to give a recovering alcoholic a whiskey-like drink? No. So we do not want to leave smokers with e-cigarettes with tobacco flavor, "Gottlieb said Thursday on Politics Pulsecheck podcast.
However, for teenagers who have suddenly been cut off from their favorite tastes, they are left with minty e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes – which, for the naive, looks the same.
The movement to ban menthols can at least lead the consumer to a more manageable direction.