A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has stopped short of recommending a ban on menthol cigarettes, despite the evidence that they contribute to a rise in smoking among adolescents. The Chicago Tribune reports the advisory panel issued its long-awaited report recently but urged the issue of menthol in cigarettes needed further study, a relief to the tobacco industry, which has been nervous since 2009 when the FDA gained authority to regulate tobacco.
The panel even suggested that removing menthol cigarettes would benefit public health in the U.S. The FDA does not have to follow the advice of its expert panels but usually does.
Smoking cigarettes is blamed for the deaths of 443,000 every year and $100 billion in uncompensated medical care and $100 billion in lost productivity, reports the newspaper. Smoking is not only linked to lung cancer, but also bladder, kidney, esophageal, pancreatic, and other cancers.
Tobacco giants have for years misled the public regarding the dangers of cigarette smoking, handing out cigarettes to military personnel, advertising through cartoon characters, having doctors do ads testifying to the calming effects of smoking, and even lying to Congress about cigarette dangers. As the public and science have learned about the health effects of smoking, tobacco giants have diversified, buying up food companies and exporting cigarettes to third world countries.
The Florida tobacco attorneys at the Farah & Farah personal injury law firm has represented thousands of victims of smoking and misinformation by Big Tobacco. If you have been a victim of the tobacco industry, it may be important for you to contact an experienced tobacco lawyer to protect your legal rights, but please note, there may be a time limitation within which to act.