PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) – The FDA reports it wants people to quit menthol cigarettes once and for all. The service stations in Phenix City are already receiving customer complaints.
For the Sunoco gas station on Highway 280 in Phenix City, cigarettes are a big seller – second only to gasoline. Of these cigarette sales, the No.1 product is Newport Menthols.
“I sell a lot of menthol cigarettes,” said the store manager Paris Ward. “I make about 20 boxes a week and when it’s time to order again, sometimes I really don’t have anything left. So Newports Menthols are definitely a big sale here. “
In a statement, the FDA said, “This decision is based on clear science and evidence establishing the addiction and harms of these products and builds on significant past actions that banned other flavored cigarettes in 2009. “
“Most of my clients talk to me about it and have given me a lot of negative feedback,” Ward said. “So I can certainly say that my customers are not at all satisfied.”
Studies show that menthol increases the attractiveness of tobacco and facilitates progression to regular smoking, especially among youth and young adults. The FDA’s proposal to ban menthol cigarettes aims to reduce smoking in these groups.
If implemented, the FDA ban will only affect manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers.
According to their statement, “[they] cannot and will not argue against the possession or use of menthol cigarettes or any other tobacco product by an individual consumer. “