which in my mind outweighs the small difference in cancer liklihood......the bigger influencer is that it disproportionately targets the unsophisticated,.....thats enough to make the FDA take a really hadr look at menthol cigs...
from last week:
"While the panel said menthol smokers are not likely to be at a higher risk of disease or exposed to a greater number of toxins, menthol cigarettes make it more likely for certain groups like youth and African Americans to experiment with smoking and make it harder for them to quit.
A menthol ban or other restrictions on the flavored cigarettes would fall heavily on Lorillard Inc., whose Newport brand is the top-selling menthol cigarette in the U.S., with roughly 35 percent of the market. Menthol cigarettes are one of the few growth areas in a shrinking cigarette market.
Lorillard, the third-largest U.S. tobacco company, is based in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Lorillard CEO Murray Kessler said the committee's conclusions lack balance and believes the panel's report is only a first step in a "very long process" that won't result in a ban.
"In the absence of a difference in disease, people are allowed to smoke what they prefer," Kessler said.
Draft chapters of the FDA panel's report also say menthol cigarettes may not be more risky, but their use is highest among minorities, teenagers and low-income people.
There's evidence consumers perceive that menthol cigarettes offer some health protection or medicinal benefit that non-menthol cigarettes don't, according to the drafts. That report says menthols are disproportionately marketed to African Americans and younger smokers.
Anti-tobacco groups applauded the findings.
Meanwhile, a tobacco industry report to the FDA acknowledges that all cigarettes are hazardous but says there's no scientific basis for regulating menthols differently."