What's the Matter with Menthols?
Recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned "flavored" cigarettes, preventing the sale of clove and (the hitherto unknown) "chocolate" cigarettes. These "candy flavored" smokes hook teenagers by masking, according to one anti-smoking activist, "the taste of the poison." And earlier this year, the FDA prevented the branding of cigarettes as "light" or "medium," instead forcing manufacturers to rechristen them with innocuous names like "Marlboro Gold" and "Marlboro Blue."
At the end of September, the FDA will announce the formation of a Menthol Subcommittee, which will review the available scientific literature on the health effects of menthol cigarettes. But are menthol cigarettes any worse for smokers than "non-flavored" cigarettes? Are they harder to quit, as anti-smoking activists suggest? Or is the government campaign against menthol simply another step on the road to the complete abolition of cigarettes?
Approximately 4 minutes. Produced by Meredith Bragg and Michael C. Moynihan.
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