It's been under study for quite awhile and now it looks as if the FDA, Food and Drug Administration, is going to issue their plan to ban all menthol cigarettes and menthol and menthol flavored cigars. 

Menthol Cigar

Two cigars
Olegk1986/Getty Images
loading...

This probably will affect many smokers out there, but the chief of the Food and Drug Administration said phasing out the mint-flavored cigarettes would save lives by helping adult smokers quit.

ABC News reports Menthol’s ingredient's cooling effect has been shown to make it easier to start smoking and harder to quit. The health consequences have disproportionately fallen on Black smokers, 85% of whom use menthols.

Menthol Cigarettes

FDA Moves To Ban Menthol Cigarettes And Flavored Cigars
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
loading...

Menthol accounts for more than a third of cigarettes sold in the U.S, and the mint flavor is overwhelmingly favored by Black smokers and young people.

Young People Smoking

Germany Discusses Smoking Ban in Restaurants And Bars
Johannes Simon/Getty Images
loading...

Back in 2009, the FDA was given authority over tobacco products, but did not ban Menthol as it did all other flavors. There has been a lot of pressure in Washington,  African American groups and health advocates, to eliminate the flavor.

 

As you can expect, there is a lot of special interest push back. The White House has heard or met with  tobacco lobbyists, anti-smoking advocates, civil rights groups, small business owners and conservative think tanks. And, nearly all the groups opposing the ban have financial ties to tobacco companies, including businesses that sell cigarettes and nonprofit groups that receive charitable contributions, according to ABC.

Lobbying the Senate

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On AA/US Airways Merger
Win McNamee/Getty Images
loading...

So, why all the hub bub about Menthol in the first place? What does it do? Okay, the FDA said menthol interacts with nicotine in the brain to enhance nicotine’s addictive effects. The combination of menthol’s flavor, sensory effects and interaction with nicotine in the brain increases the likelihood that youth who start using menthol cigarettes will progress to regular use,  and that eliminating menthol products would reduce smoking rates by 15% within 40 years.

Good? Bad? What do YOU think?

 

KEEP READING: See 25 natural ways to boost your immune system