Ban on menthol cigarettes announced in new plan by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration says getting rid of menthol cigarettes could prevent hundreds of thousands of smoking-related deaths over the next few decades.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Menthol cigarettes could be a thing of the past.

This comes after the FDA announced a plan to ban sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes and cigars in the United States.

“I think it’s bad for people who smoke. It’s just a personal opinion I guess,” said India Marrazzo, Moosic.

Menthol tastes like mint. The FDA says that’s what makes it appealing to certain people and certain age groups.

Menthol cigarettes make up about a third of the cigarette market and more than 15 million Americans smoke them, including Jay Lilly of Scranton.

“I’m not really a fan of it, I guess. A lot of people smoke menthol cigarettes, so cutting them out just creates a whole lot of trouble,” Lilly said.

The attempt has already been made by the FDA but has received much pushback.

Lilly thinks that if the ban happens, it could hurt the companies selling the products.

“Your standard gas station, dens, all these outlets. Menthol cigarettes are a huge thing for a lot of these companies,” Lilly said.

Christopher Campbell of Scranton doesn’t smoke menthol, but he does. He thinks it should be up to the smoker.

It’s just a personal choice that people have and it shouldn’t be regulated,” Campbell said.

An FDA ban on menthol and flavored cigars will not take effect immediately.

Public hearings and listening sessions are scheduled throughout the summer.

Check out the WNEP YouTube page.

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