August 7, 2008
According to the American Lung Association, 4000 children under 18 smoke their first cigarette each day. Of those 4000 first-time smokers, nearly 1100 will become regulars of the habit.
Tobacco companies would like to convert more of those first time users into regular smokers, and they have found a way to do it. According to a report published by the American Journal of Public Health in July 2008, tobacco companies manipulate the amount of menthol in cigarettes to make those first few puffs more palatable to young smokers.
“Menthol stimulates the cooling receptors in the lung and oral pharynx,” said Dr. Gregory Connelly of the Harvard School of Public Health. As a result, smoking becomes easier for those who are not accustomed to it. Menthol cigarette brands have been rising in popularity with adolescent users. The highest use has been documented among younger, newer smokers. “Menthol helps the nicotine go down,” said Dr. Connelly. He also states, “that tobacco companies are using an ingredient here to make nicotine addiction easier.”
The best solution, of course, is for young people never to smoke their first cigarette in which case they will never become an addicted smoker. The next best scenario, for young people who do try their first cigarette, would be for them to get a large inhalation from a hardcore Marlboro cigarette without menthol, in which
case their first cigarette experience could very likely be so terrible, they’ll never want to try it again.
Topics: Health News