Whatever one thinks about a menthol ban, the attached report prepared by CRE makes it clear that:
l. Contraband cigarettes are a lot worse for smokers than legitimate cigarettes. For one contaminant alone, lead, contraband cigarettes have been found to contain more than ten times the level found in legal cigarettes.
2. The very negative health effects of a ban will be the burden of two groups; adolescents who purchase contraband cigarettes with no age check, and African American smokers, over 80% of which smoke menthol.
3. Non-smokers will suffer also because of increased crime and violence.
CRE informed the TPSAC that the advisory committee can not issue a final report on menthol until they study the health effects of contraband cigarettes; the committee can issue an interim report to meet the statutory deadline in March.
See the CRE report attached below.