New studies on menthol cigarettes have prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review the safety of the flavored tobacco products.
According to ABC News, 11 new studies on menthol cigarettes are included in a recent issue of the journal Addiction. The publication contains data suggesting that menthol cigarette use is disproportionately higher among African Americans and young adults. In addition, researchers found that menthol smokers tend to be less successful when trying to quit.
In response to these recommendations, some researchers are calling for a national ban of menthol cigarettes.
In response to the recent menthol studies, libertarian think tank Americans for Limited Government warns that a ban on cigarettes would likely result in a multibillion dollar illegal market.
"An enormous black market can only mean one thing; easier and cheaper access to cigarettes for kids," said Bill Wilson, president of the organization.
ABC reports that cigarette manufacturer Lorillard, which makes Newport menthols, is currently embroiled in a legal battle in Boston. An African-American man alleges that his mother, who died of lung cancer in 2001, became addicted to cigarettes as a child because Lorillard passed out free menthols to children living in the housing projects during the 1950s.