Menthol Cigarettes: No Disproportionate Impact on Public Health

Submitted to FDA by the Non-Voting Industry Representatives on TPSAC and Other Tobacco Industry Stakeholders

March 23, 2011

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Major conclusions include:

  • Menthol in Cigarettes Does Not Change the Inherent Health Risks of Cigarette Smoking
  • Evidence on Menthol and Smoking Topography is Inadequate to Support a Conclusion that
  • Menthol Cigarettes are Smoked More Intensely
  • Evidence is Inadequate to Conclude that Menthol in Cigarettes Influences Smoking Initiation
  • Menthol in Cigarettes Has No Meaningful Impact on Smoking Cessation
  • Menthol in Cigarettes Has No Meaningful Impact on Nicotine Dependence

The company submitted a report on the use of menthol in cigarettes to the FDA

RICHMOND, Va. – Altria Client Services on behalf of Philip Morris USA Inc. has sent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a written report summarizing the science and evidence on the impact of the use of menthol in cigarettes on the public health. The FDA asked the tobacco industry to provide a separate report on the topic to the Tobacco Products Science Advisory Committee (TPSAC), which recently released its findings that there is scientific evidence to back up the notion that removing menthol cigarettes from the market would benefit public health in the United States. Lorillard Inc. issued its own response to the findings.

Conclusion: These data indicate that rates of lung cancer are no higher among menthol vs nonmenthol smokers, and raise the possibility they may in fact be lower, and that smoking cessation rates appear not to differ greatly between menthol and nonmenthol cigarette smokers. These findings should inform any decision-making process by the Food and Drug Administration to single out menthol cigarettes as uniquely more harmful than nonmenthol cigarettes.

Attached below is the TPSAC’s report on menthol cigarettes.

Conclusion: “should FDA choose to implement a ban or take some other policy action that restricts availability of menthol cigarettes….FDA would need to assess the potential for contraband
menthol cigarettes as required by the Act.”

Attached Files:

The attached document is the Executive Summary of the United States Trade Representative before the World Trade Organization in response to a Complaint by Indonesia.

“Indonesia requested consultations with the United States with respect to a measure applied by the United States regarding the ban of clove cigarettes. Indonesia alleged that Section 907 of the legislation in question, which was signed into law on 22 June 2009, prohibits, among other things, the production or sale in the United States of cigarettes containing certain additives, including clove, but would continue to permit the production and sale of other cigarettes, including cigarettes containing menthol.”