Menthol Conference

Hi,  Lots of interesting information that isn’t specific to LGBT but may
be of general interest.

1.  Role of menthol and increased health risks – to date the scientific
data does not support higher rates of disease (cancer, heart disease,
etc.) associated with use of menthol cigarettes.  The same health risks
associated with smoking remain with use of menthol cigarettes.  Menthol is
not a safer brand.

2.  Menthol is associated with deeper inhalation which increases the
amount of nicotine received while smoking fewer numbers of cigarettes per
day.  This has implications for lower income and young smokers where
access to cigarettes are limited due to cost.

3.  Menthol has been shown to be the initiation flavor for youth.  The
level of menthol is manipulated for various types of smokers.  For brands
targeted toward younger smokers, menthol levels are milder to mask the
harsh taste of tobacco.  Menthol levels are increased for brands targeted
toward older and more chronic smokers.

4.  Use of menthol products vary by demographic groups.  African Americans
use at the highest levels followed by Latinos.  However, women more likely
to use than men.  Young and new smokers use menthol brands.  Low income
smokers also more likely to use menthol.  No data is available for LGBT

5.  Targeting – there has been very relentless targeting of menthol among
African Americans.  “The Africanization of menthol”.  However, there is
also targeting in Latino and Asian communities.  Use of menthol is
increasing in these communities.

6.  Smoking cessation – the use of menthol cigarettes is associated with
more difficulty in quitting.
7.  In 2009 FDA outlawed the manufactoring of flavored cigarettes because
of greater preference by youth.  However, menthol was exempted from that
legislation.  Due to activism by the AA community and other anti-tobacco
advocates the FDA has agreed to review the data associated with menthol
with the possibility of banning menthol.

8.  Marketing experts discussed how regulations regarding advertisement of
flavored cigs. can be easily “worked around.”  Terms like “frost”, “ice”,
“purple haze”  and packaging colors can be used and will not be covered
under the FDA acts.

9.  Cheryl Healton (spelling) from the Legacy foundation has been the only
presenter to mention lgbt.

O.k., all for now.  Phoenix

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