Big Tobacco’s Sneaky Menthol Substitutes

Big Tobacco Adds Synthetic Menthol to Cigarettes Ahead of Ban

Big Tobacco is replacing menthol with a synthetic version in cigarettes.

News Picture: As Menthol Ban Nears, Big Tobacco Is Adding Synthetic Version to Cigarettes Instead

Cigarette smokers, brace yourselves for a crafty move by Big Tobacco! When faced with an impending federal ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes, these sneaky manufacturers have resorted to using synthetic substitutes instead. Talk about trying to wriggle their way out of trouble!

Apparently, the allure of menthol is so strong that it appeals to younger and novice smokers. A team of investigators from Duke Health and Yale University discovered that these “non-menthol” cigarettes are making their way into states that have already outlawed the real deal. It’s like playing a game of cat and mouse with the authorities!

But here’s the kicker: these alternative cigarettes contain compounds that provide a cooling sensation similar to menthol. How do they achieve this sorcery, you ask? Well, it turns out that tobacco companies are adding a synthetic cooling agent called WS-3 to these deceivingly “non-menthol” smokes. They’re pulling out all the stops to make sure smokers get their fix of that refreshing coolness.

What’s even more intriguing is that some of these new cigarettes have more cooling activity than their menthol counterparts. It’s like going from a gentle breeze to a full-blown arctic blast! Who needs menthol when you can have an even cooler experience?

California and Massachusetts have already seen through Big Tobacco’s tricks and banned menthol cigarettes. But did that stop the powers-that-be? Nope! RJ Reynolds and ITG swooped in with their non-menthol cigarettes, packaging them in a way that’s eerily similar to the banned products. Sneaky, sneaky indeed!

The lead author of the study, Sairam Jabba, measured the chemical content of these substitute cigarettes and found that some of them activated the cold/menthol receptor even more intensely than their menthol counterparts. In other words, these cleverly disguised cigarettes can provide the same cooling sensations as menthol cigarettes. It’s almost like they’re saying, “Hey, we’ve got you covered!”

Now, you might be wondering if they’re totally devoid of any flavor. Well, they may lack that distinctive minty aroma, but they’re not entirely tasteless. Alongside the synthetic cooling agent, the researchers also detected vanilla and tropical flavor chemicals. It’s like they’re trying to make smoking a vacation for your taste buds!

But wait, there’s more to this story. Menthol cigarettes have long been targeted at Black smokers, with up to 90% of them being menthol enthusiasts. It’s like Big Tobacco had a secret mission to hook a specific demographic. Utterly shameful!

So, what can be done about this devious agenda? The researchers suggest that FDA regulators should develop effective strategies to control odorless cooling agents and flavors that aim to bypass tobacco flavor bans. It’s time to outsmart the tobacco industry and protect public health!

Don’t fall prey to Big Tobacco’s tactics! Stay informed and spread the word about their sneaky substitutes. Let’s keep the coolness in the breeze, not in our cigarettes.

Funding for the study was provided by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institutes of Health, and the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the health effects of smoking.

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