Although all flavored cigarettes were banned in 2009, menthol cigarettes were left out of the ban. Because of their minty flavoring, these cigarettes are more addictive than non-menthol. The flavor takes away from the harshness of smoking and makes smoking easier especially for first time users. This fact is especially detrimental to the youth demographic as youth, especially black youth, smoke menthol cigarettes at greater numbers than non menthol. According to the Center for American Progress, more than 80 percent of all Black youth smokers use menthol and more than 70 percent of gay and transgender youth smoke menthol cigarettes.
It is also reported that the FDA is considering a ban on the sale and distribution of menthol cigarettes in the United States. This measure could save lives and cut smoking-related health problems experienced by African Americans as well as the LGBT community. To learn more about the possible menthol ban, log on to the center for American Progress’ website at www.americanprogress.org.