The tobacco industry was called recently to answer claims that one type of cigarette is more dangerous than others. In fact, by March, the FDA may ban all sales of one particular type of cigarette. What is the most dangerous cigarette available?
What is the Most Dangerous Cigarette?
At a federal advisory panel, the claim was made that menthol cigarettes are more dangerous than other cigarettes due to the flavoring. The tobacco industry claims that menthol cigarettes are not more dangerous in the two day meeting. Of all of the cigarettes sold in the United States, one quarter of those are menthol.
Is there Evidence?
There is no evidence that menthol flavoring makes cigarettes more dangerous, however the claim is actually that they are more dangerous because the pleasant flavoring makes them more addictive. The claim also states that marketing practices target a minority group of smokers, or specifically African Americans. Of the African Americans who smoke, three quarters prefer menthol cigarettes. This study was published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
The tobacco companies claim that advertisement for menthol cigarettes is not aimed at any ethnic group in particular, but watchdog groups claim otherwise. The meeting was moderated by the Food and Drug Administration, and the panel is made up of twelve people who will decide, with the FDA, whether there will be a ban on menthol cigarettes by March 23, 2011. Another option open to the panel is to require tobacco manufacturers to use less flavoring in menthol cigarettes.
All Cigarettes are Dangerous
What you need to realize is that while menthol cigarettes are not actually more dangerous – but could be more addictive – all cigarettes are dangerous. Smoking light or ultra light makes no difference in how dangerous the cigarettes are either.
Smoking cigarettes not only poses a danger to you, but also to those who are around you when you are smoking, including your spouse and children. Take steps now to quit by talking to your doctor. We all may as well face the fact that it is only a matter of time before all cigarettes are banned.
December 1st, 2010
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