Regulators in the USA have said menthol cigarettes are more harmful than other cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that while mint flavoured cigarettes may be just as toxic as others, they are worse as it is easier to start smoking them and harder to quit.

A new report from the FDA found that the cooling and anaesthetic qualities of the menthol made them less harsh and more appealing to smokers. The report’s conclusions echoed some of the findings of an earlier review from 2011, which suggested that a ban on menthol cigarettes would benefit public health.

The FDA has commissioned further research into the subject and is inviting input from the health community, tobacco industry and members of the public about the products.

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Eu parliament set to approve stricter tobacco rules

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EU Parliament Set To Approve Stricter Tobacco Rules


February 26, 2014

The European Parliament is expected on Wednesday to approve new, stricter tobacco legislation aimed at curbing smoking, including larger, graphic warnings on tobacco products and phasing out menthol cigarettes.

The vote follows a compromise deal reached in December between parliament and the bloc’s governments.

Under the deal, tobacco companies would be required to cover 65 per cent of the front and back of their packages with health warnings, including graphic photos, for instance, of diseases caused by smoking. Countries wishing to introduce plain packaging could do so.

Flavoured tobacco products with high sales volumes would be banned, and there will be a four year, phase out period for the popular menthol cigarettes.

E cigarettes will also be regulated, although efforts to have them classified across the board as medicinal products failed.

“All these measures will ensure that tobacco products look and taste like tobacco products and help discourage young people from starting to smoke, EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said in December.

The measures have been controversial and the focus of intense lobbying by the tobacco industry.

Critics argue the reforms will limit consumer choice, fuel the illegal trade in cigarettes, cut government revenues and cause job losses.

While a proposed ban on slim cigarettes was rejected, they would have to be sold in less attractive packaging.

Other measures seek to better combat illicit products and regulate online tobacco sales.

EU governments would also have to approve the measures, but that move is usually a formality.

Countries would have two years to incorporate the rules into their national laws.

In 2012, 28 per cent of the EU s 500 million citizens were believed to be smokers. Some 700,000 Europeans are estimated to die of tobacco related diseases every year. (dpa/NAN)

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