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Menthol Cigarette Ban in the US?

A menthol cigarette ban in the US is a real possibility. The FDA is soliciting comments on the topic and it's your chance to speak up. You only have to November 22nd, 2013!

Link to the FDA:
FDA Menthol Cigarette Ban Comment Page
URL if you prefer cutting and pasting:!documentDetail;D=FDA-2013-N-0521-0079

Below is a draft of my response to the FDA. I will send it close to the end of the week. Although I will be sending it in on behalf of myself and the members of this site, please leave your own comment on the FDA site as well. It can be a simple as; I enjoy smoking menthol cigarettes and there's no valid reason for taking that freedom away from me.


To FDA and advisory members,

I am the administrator of, a web site that supports the pleasures of smoking and those who enjoy it. We have no commercial interests and take no funding from any external source. The users of are primarily either current smokers who enjoy smoking or those looking for information on the best ways to start smoking. has over 2000 unique visitors per day.

Anti smoking advocates wish menthol cigarettes to be banned from sale. I, as well as 38% of the users of enjoy smoking menthol cigarettes every day. It’s the flavor we enjoy the most. Up to this point, we’ve simply taken for granted that what we choose to taste was a personal freedom.

Anti smoking advocates argue that no one wants to smoke, that those that do are simply addicted, can’t possibly enjoy smoking, and have little free will to quit. This is not true and as evidence to the contrary, I offer you the collected resources, information, and experiences from the users of the site; please see

So the question comes down to, why should my favorite cigarette flavor be banned?

Is it more harmful than non menthol cigarettes? According to the conclusions of a study conducted by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, mentholated cigarettes are no more, and perhaps less harmful than non-mentholated cigarettes.

Is it more addictive then non menthol cigarettes? According to the same study referenced above, the researchers found no relationship between cigarette preference and quiting smoking. On the other hand, the FDA is researching this question further and may present new evidence in the future that supports the notion that menthol cigarettes are more addictive. If the FDA does find evidence that it is, I also think it is incumbent on the FDA to also provide evidence that invalidates other legitimate studies with the opposite conclusion and account for other effects of additives, such as ammonia, with and without menthol.

Since some people like the way menthol cigarettes taste over non menthol varieties, less people would start or continue smoking if menthol varieties didn’t exist.
As in all discretionary markets, as consumer choice is reduced, so is consumption since the remaining product doesn’t satisfy all consumer preferences. But if it’s valid to reduce smoking rates by limiting choice, would it not be equally valid to eliminate smoking by eliminating all choice, i.e. ban the sale of all tobacco products? The congressional mandate prohibits the ban of cigarettes by the FDA and to ban menthol cigarettes solely on the premise that less people will start smoking since some people prefer menthol cigarettes, seems to clearly violate the spirit of the congressional mandate. Congress disallowed baning cigarettes because it recognizes that smoking is still an individual choice.

But wait! Congress banned flavored cigarettes, why should menthol be excluded?
Flavored cigarettes other than menthol were banned on the premise that the sole reason they existed was to appeal to underage smokers. Menthol is and has been an established adult preference for decades and therefore are not in the same category.

In closing, it is my choice to smoke and my choice to select menthol cigarettes. I do not see the benefit to me nor to the general public for instituting a ban on menthol cigarettes. If it comes down to the notion of “saving our children,” spare me the appeal to emotion and do something real and effective in that area. For example, take 10% of the collected federal excise taxes from cigarettes and use it to enforce the laws prohibiting minors from purchasing cigarettes. It’s really that simple.




I wish I had read this in time to send a comment to the FDA. It's really ridiculous how heavy handed the government is with cigarettes. In my opinion, it's nothing more than politicians and their lackeys trying to show that they are "making progress" or "doing something" with public health. We are one of the unhealthiest countries in the world with some of the highest healthcare costs in the world, and it has little to do with smoking.

Yes, there are healthcare costs with smoking. But they are dwarfed by the costs associated with obesity, diabetes, and other such chronic illnesses. Yet I do not see efforts by the FDA to ban happy meals, fast food advertising, energy drinks with high amounts of sugar and an addictive substance known as caffeine. I don't know how many times in college I've seen kids chugging down Monster energy drinks while they sit on the couch playing Xbox live for hours on end. In fact, such drinks can give you heart attacks on the spot! And then the same kids will pull out a 2000 calorie Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Chick-Fil-A with 500 calorie fries to go with it. That's more calories in one sitting than is recommended in 2 days of eating.

I'm not advocating for restrictions on fast food, energy drinks, or anything else. My point is that there are far more harmful practices, behaviors, and products in this country than cigarette smoking. The government's laser-like focus on smoking is a red herring, meant to justify their own jobs and make it look like they are accomplishing something.

The government's job, in my view, should be to nothing more and nothing less than to make sure consumers have accurate and readily available information about the contents and, if you wish, the healthfulness of a product. Nutrition facts labels on food, and surgeon general's warnings on alcohol and tobacco products. We live in a free society, and as long as the risks and facts are made clear to people by the companies that produce the products, people should be free to consume as they wish.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but for the government to take the step of banning certain products because they deem them an unacceptable cost to society seems to me like something out of a dystopian novel. What are we, drones whose sole purpose in life is to yield maximum profit for "society" at as little cost as possible?

hint_of_menthol's picture

On the subject.... not really

I'm sure everyone is beginning to encounter the new fire safe paper BS that has the cherry falling out of the cigarette. For a way to prevent fires, it sure is gonna start a lot more.

I usually smoke L&M menthol shorts. They were out, so I bought 100's. I don't like the taste as much, but what really has me bothered is when I have a window open to smoke, I go to put my cig out and it falls apart.

Nanny State

Why would they want tax dollars anyway? FSC is still super gross carpet gel :/

Menthol Alpine

Can anyone please tell me what the names are of the Alpine 2mg and 1mg cigarettes?

Alpine original

Are the best alpine brand. Alpine fine are 4mg, but smoke originals, you won't regret it :-)

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