Makers comply with menthol ban

| July 22, 2016

Despite a recent ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Nova Scotia and despite the fact that tobacco manufacturers are complying with the ban, anti-tobacco lobbyists are not happy with what has transpired.

According to a story citing research from the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, at least some cigarettes that previously had a menthol format are now being sold in packs with prominent green coloring, with the word ‘green’ instead of ‘menthol’ or with the legend: ‘smooth taste redesigned without menthol’.

The researchers apparently believe that these pack design elements have the potential to weaken the public health benefits of the ban on menthol.

“Tobacco companies are notorious for exploiting loopholes and violating the spirit of laws aimed at protecting the public’s health and we have documented yet another example,” says study co-author Joanna E. Cohen, PhD, a professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Bloomberg School and director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control. “Menthol masks the harshness of smoke, and the evidence shows that menthol cigarettes have an adverse impact on public health.”

‘Menthol has long been added to cigarettes to give them a minty flavor and to make the smoking experience seem less harsh when the smoker inhales,’ the story said. ‘Menthol cigarettes are popular with first-time smokers, and have historically been marketed to women, youth and ethnic minorities globally, with a third of young Canadian smokers using menthol cigarettes.’

Menthol cigarette bans were enacted in Nova Scotia in June 2015 and in Alberta in September 2015.

The research, published online on July 20 in the journal Tobacco Control, was carried out with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.

Category: Breaking News

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