US government to ban menthol cigarettes: FDA
The US Food and Drug Administration suggests prohibiting menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and all characterizing flavors in cigars.
The US government took steps that would ban menthol from being added to flavor cigarettes and cigars, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed on Thursday.
"The US Food and Drug Administration is announcing proposed product standards to prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and prohibit all characterizing flavors (other than tobacco) in cigars," the FDA said in a statement.
The FDA explained that the new standards can significantly reduce disease and death from combusted tobacco product use - the leading cause of preventable death in the United States - by reducing youth addiction and increasing the number of smokers that quit.
Anti-smoking activists and others have long been concerned with the troublingly high rates of menthol cigarette use by youth and young adults.
Menthol is a minty tasting and smelling flavor additive aroma that reduces the irritation and coarseness associated with smoking.
FDA officials say tobacco use is a leading cause of cancer and cancer deaths. About 30% of all cancer deaths in the US are caused by smoking.
It is noteworthy that the FDA has launched a program named "Cancer Moonshot" aiming to reduce America’s cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years.