Tag Archives: menthol cigarettes
In its quest to keep on sales growth of its top-selling Pall Mall brand of cigarettes, RJ Reynolds is releasing the brand new menthol-flavored varieties.
The second-largest tobacco company in the U.S. has introduced Pall Mall White and Pall Mall Black as support version for Pall Mall Green, its iconic menthol style.
Richard Smith, communications manager for RJ Reynolds declared the black style gives smokers “a full-flavor smoke,” while the white style “provides a milder smoke.”
Smith mentioned that the latest are launched in the tobacco shops throughout the nation, with countrywide release planned for October.
In accordance with RJ Reynolds, the latest menthol-flavored styles are released to live up to the changing preferences of adult smokers and make the most of the momentum in the menthol segment of the market.
“We think Pall Mall grew to be the proper product launched at the proper time, due to the fact the tough economy continues to post a negative impact on purchasing capability of adult tobacco consumers,” Smith added.
A researcher from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has discovered that smokers of menthol cigarettes aged 50 and over are less likely to pass away from lung cancer in comparison to those who smoke regular-flavored cigarettes, said a report published in the Winston-Salem Journal.
Brian Rostron, the scientist at the Center for Tobacco Products run by the FDA, compared data of 6,074 adult smokers between 1987 and 2006, with 1,417 being menthol smokers among them.
The lower likeability of premature death from lung tumor was discovered in all age and sex groups, as well as between black and white smokers.
“These results share the expectations that any relation between lung cancer and smoking of menthol cigarettes would be the most in the age when smokers have accumulated more years of smoking,” Prof. Rostron mentioned in a study published in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal.
The latest report could be used as yet another evidence in the heated public-health discussions over menthol-flavored cigarettes that have been the only segment of American cigarette market to post continuous growth, according to the Winston-Salem Journal report.
The Food and Drug Administration started an independent review of scientific base after its Tobacco Products Advisory Panel issued a report recommending to prohibit mentholated cigarettes.
During the last meeting of recently created Tobacco products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) the participants discussed the pros and cons of banning menthol flavoring in cigarettes, with four of seven speakers focused the Committee’s attention on the message that banning menthol would result in the growth of black market.
Gilbert Ross, American Council on Science and Health’ Executive/medical, declared that ACSH at the beginning to know that menthol flavoring was not covered by the FDA ban on flavorings in cigarettes and carried out a review on that issue. During that research they discovered no physiological toxicities or disorders related to menthol flavoring in cigarettes, in addition to what is already found in cigarettes.
He said they were very surprised to understand that it was very difficult to put a ban on menthol cigarettes, as it has been evident that smokers who prefer menthol cigarettes have been quite loyal to consuming namely menthol cigarettes, so banning menthol flavoring would increase the probability of creating a black market, which in its turn would give under-aged smokers an access to menthol cigarettes and other banned substances.
Bruce Levinson, a senior staffer at Center for Regulatory Effectiveness warned the audience about the dangers that could be caused by black market. He cited a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives document, which said the black market doesn’t care about quality standards of the products, or the age of potential buyers, and that black market is linked with terrorism and organized crime.
Mr. Levinson also asked the TPSAC to review the report by ATF on the contraband and black market, and even invite the ATF to take part in the next meeting to give the Committee a view on the potential consequences of menthol ban from the point of view of black market.
Fredrick Flyer, vice president of Compass, a company hired by Lorillard Inc. to carry out economic analyses of the ban, admitted that despite they only had access to Lorillard’s data on Newport, nation’s top-selling menthol cigarette, they found relatively low elasticity in preference for the product.
He said that since there is a strong demand for menthol cigarette brands, the black market would benefit from the ban on legitimate sales of menthol cigarettes.
Lyle Beckwith, National Association of Convenience Stores senior vice president, declared that black market already benefits significantly from the sales of tobacco products, due to price difference, making the legal businesses suffer. He added that in case the menthol cigarettes were banned, there would be an increased demand on them at black market.
However, not all the participants of the meeting were focused on economic consequences of menthol cigarettes ban. Gary Giovino of the State University of New York, declared that the menthol cigarettes are equally dangerous as the non-mentholated ones, so they have been concerned that menthol simply masks the harshness of tobacco.
He cited The National Youth Smoking Cessation Survey that discovered that teenagers were more likely to prefer menthol cigarettes than young adults, and said they believe that banning menthol cigarettes would help to reduce smoking rates in teenagers.
In conformity with the latest annual report presented by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) the rate of adolescent and adult smokers who switch to menthol cigarettes is currently on a rise. Many public health groups said they have been highly concerned by the growing figures, because menthol flavoring is the only additive not included in the federal ban on flavored cigarettes, which came into force last year.
According to the report, menthol category constitutes almost 25 percent of the $70 billion-per-year tobacco market in the U.S. The leading position in menthol cigarette market belongs to Lorillard Inc. maker of Newport, number one menthol cig, ahead of Philip Morris USA and Reynolds American.
Scientists say that tobacco companies add menthol flavoring to mask the harsh taste of tobacco and make the smoke to be cooler and long-lasting; however, this flavoring entices smokers to light up more cigarettes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently considering the impact of menthol flavor on smokers and could include menthol in the ban on flavorings.
The SAMHSA report shows that the number of smokers who prefer menthol cigarette in teenage group (12 -18 years) went up from 44% reported in 2004 to 48% in 2008. In addition, among the younger adults group (18-25 years) the rate of menthol smokers grew from 34% in 2004 up to 41% in 2008. Although the report doesn’t reveal overall number of menthol-lovers, it concludes that each year over 4 billion packs of menthol smokes are sold across the country.
William Loftis, SAMHSA senior director, stated that he has been highly concerned with the significant appeal that menthol flavoring has on younger smokers, because menthol makes smoking easier and thus, can tempt many adolescents into taking up smoking and become addicted to that hazardous habit.
Lorillard spokesperson said the company has provided the FDA with all the available information to prove that smokers of both menthol and non-menthol cigarettes are able to give up their habit equally and said that claims that menthol lures smokers to light up more cigarettes have no scientific prove.
In 2009 the U.S. Congress adopted the legislation, empowering the FDA with the authority to control tobacco industry. Among the first provisions of the landmark Tobacco Control Act was the ban on the overwhelming majority of flavorings in cigarettes. Nevertheless, menthol flavoring was not covered by the regulation, due to several factors, including economic factor, and possible growth of black market.
Many groups advocating for the African American population urged the FDA to ban menthol cigarettes, because mentholated cigarettes are smoked by the majority of African American smokers.
Reports show that nearly 78 percent of African American cigarette-lovers prefer menthol cigs, in contrast to only 20 percent among White Americans. The communications manager for the FDA stated the agency would take appropriate action after examining the material regarding the effect of menthol cigarettes on public health.
The SAMHSA report was drawn up on the basis of a survey of over 350,000 people throughout the U.S. The respondents were asked whether they smoked during the last 30 days and if so, what tobacco products they used.
Menthol cigarettes account for more than one-third of the American cigarette market, and menthol-smoking trend even keeps growing. Public Health advocates claim that the fame of menthol cigaretts particularly among new smokers should be decreased; however, it demands consideration and will lead to negative aftermaths.
The latest meeting of the recently-formed Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, established after the American Food and Drug Administration was authorized to regulate tobacco industry, will be devoted to the health risks related to the consumption of menthol flavoring in tobacco. The meeting is scheduled for March 31 and will be held in Washington, DC.
The Committee will consider and advice to the FDA of the methods of regulating mentholated tobacco products. Menthol is the sole flavor not covered by the Tobacco Control Act, which banned such flavorings as fruit, vanilla and chocolate in cigarettes, however, it could be banned if there is reliable evidence on the risks of its prolonged consumption in cigarettes.
In conformity with a nationwide survey, smokers who took up cigarettes lately are more probably to consume menthol cigarettes than experienced cigarette lovers. Moreover, the number of present smokers who prefer mentholated cigarettes is growing.
According to the survey, the consumption of menthol cigarettes is higher among smokers who began puffing over the last 12 months (44.6 percent) than among experienced smokers (32percent). Also, among smokers who lit up during the last month, the number of those who preferred menthol cigaretes grew up from nearly 31 percent in 2004 to almost 34 percent in 2008. Such growth is the most perceptible among teenage tobacco users (4 percent increase) and among younger adults (from 34 percent to 41 percent).
Eric Broderick, Director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration admitted that menthol flavoring may have its appeal in encouraging the smoking habit – one of the most severe problems of public health across the USA. He added that the evident fascination that mentholated cigarettes exert on adolescent smokers is very concerning since menthol tobacco products can lure more teenagers and younger adults to start the hazardous smoking habit.
The research demonstrates that the number of smokers who prefer menthol cigarettes among Black Americans (83 percent) is much higher than among Hispanic populations (32 percent) and White Americans (24 percent) and other populations. Among Black Americans, the experienced smokers were more probably to consume mentholated cigarettes than those who started smoking over the last 12 months, while the opposite behavior is found among other populations.
In addition, there was a considerable increase in the number of male menthol smokers, which went up from 26.9 percent in 2004 to 30.8 percent in 2008.
Menthol flavoring is an ingredient added to cigarettes in order to conceal the harshness of tobacco, by providing a feeling of coolness and freshness during the process of smoking. However, when concealing the harshness, mentholated cigs could ease the way to cigarettes for the adolescents. Several recent studies found out that menthol cigarettes can be harder to give up than the regular flavored ones.
The research carried out by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that the usage of menthol cigs is more wide spread among those smokers who started to light up recently (45 percent) than among those who have been smoking for more than 5 years (32 percent).
Moreover, the researchers found out that the rate of menthol cigarettes lovers rose from 31 percent, registered 5 years ago to 34 percent of current smokers. This growth was the most dramatic among teenage smokers aged between 15 and 18 (from 43 percent in 2004 to 47 in 2008) and the rate of younger adults who prefer menthol cigarettes also increased from 34 percent four years ago to 41 percent.
Menthol is a flavoring agent of natural origin added to the cigarette content which is used to cover the real strength of cigarettes and providing smokers with a nice “freezing” aftertaste in the mouth. By offsetting the harshness with menthol flavor, the tobacco industry gives teenagers and young adults a gateway for getting hooked on smoking.
According to other studies by various research teams, menthol cigarettes are even more addictive than unflavored cigarettes, and therefore, it is much more difficult to give up smoking for those who prefer them in comparison with those who smoke ordinary cigarettes.
However, Menthol is the only flavoring not covered by the Tobacco Control Act, signed into federal law in June by President Barack Obama, although public health groups call the FDA to include flavored cigarettes in the ban.
SAMHSA lead researcher Christopher Louden, Professor of Public Health said that menthol-flavored cigarettes are able to keep smokers loyal to their deadly habit, and the leading cause of preventable deaths tormenting Americans. He added that evident fascination menthol cigarettes represent to adolescents and younger adults who recently tried smoking is especially concerning because these cigarettes can allure more young people to start smoking.
According to the study, the rate of smokers who prefer menthol cigarettes is the highest among African Americans (82.5 percent) what is significantly higher than among Hispanic smokers (33 percent) and White Americans (24 percent). The study showed an interesting tendency – among long-term African American smokers the overwhelming majority prefers menthol cigarettes, whereas new-comers are more likely to take up ordinary cigarettes, which is opposite to the tendency found among other ethnical groups.
Among other findings of the study is the apparent increase in the rate of male smokers of menthol cigarettes, which rose from 27 percent in 2004 to 31 percent in 2009.
Starting from 12 pm on September 21st, all flavored cigarettes excepting menthol cigarettes were barred from production and sales throughout the United States. Any individual distributing banned products and thus, violating the legislation would be subjected to fins and even jail terms.
According to the Tobacco Regulation Act, adopted by Congress two months ago and coming into effect last week, the FDA has been entitled to ban all cigarettes containing chocolate, candy, clove or fruit flavors, which public health experts consider to be a gateway for adolescents to becoming regular smokers.
The Food and Drug Administration sent an opened letter to all cigarette makers operating across America, notifying them about subsequent legal actions against the manufacturers who don’t phase out flavored cigarettes from production in violation of the law. Customs services agents will trace and detain the shipments of banned cigarettes imported to the country.
What flavors are prohibited by the law?
The law prohibits all flavored cigarettes, except menthol. The hugely popular clove cigs are as well banned. Yet, since the ban covers only cigarettes, many producers of flavored cigarettes, including the top clove cigarettes manufacturer, Djarum Co, instantly modified their plants to make flavored cigars, which are nearly identical to cigarettes in size and strength.
Other restriction to become valid soon
The prohibition of flavored cigarettes came up as the first restriction imposed by the FDA after it has been granted with the authority to regulate tobacco industry, in conformity with the law signed by President Obama in June. The FDA as well intends to implement drastic restrictions on developing and marketing tobacco products, require more grievous health warnings and prohibit such terms like “low tar”, “lights,” etc.
The reasons to ban the flavorings
Anti-smoking groups claim that prohibition of flavored cigarettes is drawn to reduce terrific smoking rates among minors and fencing teens off from taking up smoking. Many researches found that fruit and chocolate-flavored cigarettes are the most luring type of tobacco products when dealing with teenagers. Scientists agree in opinion that yummy flavors are put to mask the strength of cigarettes, what contributed to make it easier to get hooked on cigarettes.
Howard Koh, main anti-tobacco advocate in new President’s administration and Assistant Secretary for Public Health, who frequently named cigarettes a catastrophe for the health of younger generations, said that implementation of the ban signals about the beginning of the new era in the battle against tobacco consumption in the United States.
The Tobacco Control Act also requires tobacco companies to reveal the components of their production, with possible further bans of the most hazardous and addictive substances.
Moreover, although menthol flavored cigarettes are not included in the ban, the FDA spokesperson said that they would carry out laboratory analysis of the influence of menthol additive on the health of smokers, and probably ban menthol cigarettes too.
The consumption of menthol additive, which is a chemical material received from a natural extract, has become known in the mid 60s whereas some cheap cigarettes containing second-grade tobacco has been available for quite a long time. However, many people still have not been aware of all the peculiarities of both of the latter tobacco products. Thus, this article will focus on the features of these items.
Smoking a cigarette which contains menthol additive brings sensations different to those from regular cigarettes. Smokers admit that menthol provides a sort of coolness in the mouth while smoking. Menthol additive as well provides a nice aftertaste in contrast to unpleasant taste of full flavor cigarettes made from poor tobacco. Initially such brand varieties like Voque Menthol or Karelia Menthol were introduced to market only as a test product that get an immense popularity after a while, whereas classic cigarettes were always there for people who could afford only them.
However, researches showed that smokers who preferred menthol cigarettes were likely to light up more frequently as the surveyed smokers admitted that menthol made them feel more satisfied and relaxed with each puff because of menthol sedative features. That sensation will never be reached with the help of regular cigarettes that smell worse than menthol and do not have antianxiety characteristics.
As regards the safety of menthol and regularly-flavored cigarettes, manufacturers of menthol cigarettes made numerous claims stating that their products are less harmful to health. But the recent peer-reviewed tests have proven that the menthol cigarettes are equally as hazardous as their full flavor counterparts.
The US Food and Drug Administration even pushed for banning menthol cigarettes, saying that menthol additive in compound with nicotine and other additives triggers much more negative consequences for health than regular cigarettes. However, please bear in mind that all cigarettes are hazardous for health and cause many illnesses.
According to the last year’s nationwide survey that focused on the smokers’ preferences, around 75 percent of the African Americans admitted to prefer menthol cigarettes, compared to only 25 percent that said to choose full flavor or light cigarettes. The issue was opposite with white Americans, as the main part of them preferred classic brands basing on their reliability and traditions.
Judging by price differences one can see that menthol cigarettes are less expensive than famous, legendary brands like Marlboro and Camel. The price of high quality menthol cigarettes is equal to that of cheap full flavor cigarettes.
Basing on the level of addiction of two types of aforementioned cigarettes, it was proven a long time ago that menthol cigarettes are much more addictive than full flavor cigarettes. It could be explained by the fact that the pleasant menthol flavor makes smoker want to light up more times than in case of classic cigarettes. In addition, full flavor cigarettes last longer than menthol ones.
In general, when speaking about distinctions between menthol and full flavor cigarettes, there are just a few significant to mention. The principal difference is the taste one, since the booming popularity of menthol cigarettes is explained by its pleasant aftertaste. Countless smokers across the world switched to menthol cigarettes, what prompted major tobacco companies to launch the menthol varieties of such famous cigarettes like Camel, Winston, Marlboro and Virginia.