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What are Menthol Cigarettes?

Cigarette makers use menthol in their products because of its mellow and minty taste. Menthol cigarettes are popular among minority ethnic groups in the US. In this article, we discuss the popularity of these cigarettes and whether they are harmful than regular ones. 

<strong>Popularity of Menthol Cigarettes</strong>
The following statistics clearly reveal how popular these have become:
<ul>
	<li>About 12 million Americans smoke menthol cigarettes.</li>
	<li>About 75% of African-American smokers favor them.</li>
	<li>Around 80% of adolescent African-American smokers favor them.</li>
	<li>A majority of Hispanic-American smokers use them.</li>
	<li>They are a favorite among the majority of Asian-American smokers in middle school.</li>
	<li>About 50% of teenage smokers use menthol cigarettes.</li>
	<li>Around 24% of white smokers favor them.</li>
	<li>Menthol is the most popular cigarette flavoring and menthol cigarettes account for about 27% of the US cigarette market.</li> </ul>

<strong>African-Americans Pay for their Addiction</strong>
The bare fact is menthol cigarettes are harmful as revealed by the fact that greater than 47,000 African-Americans die annually due to smoking-related ailments. In fact, African-American men are 50% more likely to contract lung cancer compared to white men. And, more African-American women develop lung cancer compared to breast cancer. 

<strong>Why Menthol Cigarettes could be Deadlier</strong>
Research studies suggest that menthol cigarette smokers inhale more carcinogens and suffer more smoking-related ailments compared to smokers of regular cigarettes. The researchers say the cool and pleasant sensation of menthol makes the smoker inhale more smoke with each puff. As a result, they end up imbibing more carcinogens. Also, menthol cigarette users may smoke more cigarettes compared to users of normal ones and they also get addicted more quickly. 

<strong>Why Menthol Cigarettes Should be Banned</strong>
Health experts say the US government should ban menthol cigarettes to lower health-care expenses, save precious lives and to reduce cigarette makers’ exploitation of children, especially from minority backgrounds. Children start their smoking habit with menthol cigarettes because of their minty taste. Also, adult smokers of these cigarettes find it harder to quit because of their good taste. All these reasons should goad lawmakers to ban menthol cigarettes for good. But the tobacco lobby pumps in millions of dollars to both major parties. So who will stand up and bite the bullet? 

<strong>Resources:</strong>
1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-we-need-a-ban-on-menthol-cigarettes/2011/04/27/AFNCM08E_story.html
2. http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/menthol-versus-regular-cigarettes-which-more-harmful

To learn more about the dangers of menthol cigarettes, please watch this video:
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mejyVW0gZuc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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