บุหรี่เมนทอล อันตรายยิ่งกว่า

dailynews130729_001สิงห์อมควันหลายคนคิดอยากเลิกบุหรี่ แต่ด้วยเหตุผลต่างๆ ทำให้ยังเลิกไม่ได้ ยิ่งไปทราบว่ามีบุหรี่บางแบบมีกลิ่นรสพิเศษ โดยผู้ผลิตระบุสรรพคุณว่า สูบแล้วไม่ระคายคอ อย่างเช่น “บุหรี่เมนทอล” เมื่อได้ทราบเช่นนี้จึงไม่แปลกที่หลายคนยังเลิกไม่ได้ แถมเข้าใจว่า บุหรี่เมนทอล สูบแล้วอันตรายน้อยลง

ล่าสุด องค์การอาหารและยาสหรัฐอเมริกา (เอฟดีเอ) เผยผลวิจัยว่า บุหรี่ซิกาแรตที่มีรสเมนทอลมีอันตรายต่อสุขภาพมากยิ่งกว่าบุหรี่ทั่วไป เนื่องจากตัวบุหรี่ที่ทำให้ผู้สูบรู้สึกเย็นในลำคอและทำให้ชา ลดการระคายเคืองเวลาสูบนั้น ส่งผลให้คนที่ทดลองสูบบุหรี่ประเภทนี้ติดง่าย แถมเลิกยากกว่าบุหรี่ทั่วไป และเอฟดีเอยังประกาศว่าจะหาช่องทางควบคุมไม่ให้มีการผสมเมนทอลในบุหรี่ซิกาแรต

ด้านมูลนิธิรณรงค์เพื่อการไม่สูบบุหรี่ หน่วยงานที่พยายามลดการสูบบุหรี่ของคนไทย “ศ.นพ.ประกิต วาทีสาธกกิจ” เลขาธิการมูลนิธิฯ กล่าวเพิ่มเติมในกรณีบุหรี่ผสมสารเมนทอลว่า มาตรา 9 อนุสัญญาควบคุมยาสูบ องค์การอนามัยโลก ได้แนะนำให้ประเทศสมาชิกออกกฎหมายห้ามบริษัทบุหรี่เติมสารปรุงแต่ง ที่ทำให้การสูบบุหรี่ง่ายขึ้นรวมถึงการเติมสารเมนทอล และประเทศบราซิลได้ห้ามใส่เมนทอลในบุหรี่แล้ว แต่ประเทศส่วนใหญ่ยังไม่สามารถออกกฎหมายที่ห้ามเติมเมนทอลได้ เนื่องจากการคัดค้านของบริษัทบุหรี่ รวมถึงประเทศไทยก็ยังไม่มีกฎหมายนี้

แม้บ้านเราจะยังไม่มีข้อห้ามทำบุหรี่ผสมสารปรุงแต่ง เช่น สารเมนทอล แต่เมื่อสิงห์อมควันได้รับทราบข้อมูลนี้แล้ว โปรดรู้ไว้ว่า บุหรี่แบบที่ยิ่งสูบง่าย ก็ยิ่งติดง่ายนะ.

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ที่มา : เดลินิวส์ 29 กรกฎาคม 2556

 

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F.D.A. Closer to Decision About Menthol Cigarettes

By Published: July 23, 2013

WASHINGTON — Moving closer to a decision on whether to ban menthol in cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration released a scientific review on Tuesday that found the mint flavoring made it easier to start smoking and harder to quit, and solicited public comment on “potential regulation” of menthol flavored cigarettes.

These steps pleased smoking opponents who have been calling for F.D.A. action since 2009, when Congress exempted menthol from a ban on flavors in cigarettes, leaving the agency to decide whether its use is a danger to public health. Menthol cigarettes account for about a third of all cigarettes sold in the United States and are particularly popular among black smokers, about four out of five of whom report smoking them, according to federal surveys.

Still, the action was only an intermediate step in what advocates say has been a prolonged regulatory process and comes at a time when menthol smoking rates for young adults have been increasing.

Many had expected the F.D.A. to act on menthol in 2011 after a Congressionally mandated committee of outside experts, convened by the agency, found that menthol had a negative effect on public health. The findings by the agency on Tuesday echoed those conclusions, leaving smoking opponents frustrated that it had not clearly signaled an intent to ban menthol.

“This is either a way to take the heat off, or the beginning of a meaningful process,” said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an advocacy group. “That’s the book the jury is still out on.”

Mitchell Zeller, the new director of the drug agency’s Center for Tobacco Products, said the steps the agency took Tuesday showed that it was moving forward as fast as it could, but he emphasized that they did not foreshadow a ban. The public comment period will be open for 60 days.

“The F.D.A. is a regulatory agency,” Mr. Zeller said on a conference call with journalists. “As a regulatory agency, we can only go as far as the regulatory science will take us.”

Lorillard, the biggest manufacturer of menthol cigarettes in the United States, said in a statement that “the best available science demonstrates that menthol cigarettes have the same health effects as nonmenthol cigarettes and should be treated no differently.”

Indeed, the F.D.A.’s review found that menthol cigarettes did not increase the risk of disease compared with smoking nonmenthol cigarettes. The agency did find, however, that the mint flavoring made people more likely to start smoking, and led to greater dependence on nicotine and decreased rates of quitting, conclusions that opponents of smoking say should spur the agency to action.

Mr. Myers said the timing of the announcement was most likely linked to an international trade dispute. The United States has until Wednesday to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling that the American ban on clove cigarettes under the 2009 law violated Indonesia’s trade rights if the United States itself continued to allow the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes.

Indonesia, a maker of clove cigarettes, brought the suit. The United States contended that menthol posed a different public health risk, but the trade organization did not accept its argument.

Menthol flavoring makes an otherwise harsh cigarette more palatable for young people who are first-time smokers, smoking opponents say. And while smoking rates have been declining across the nation, rates for menthol cigarettes among 18- to 25-year-olds have climbed — to 16 percent in 2010 from 13 percent in 2004, according to a 2011 federalreport.

Young blacks are particularly vulnerable, smoking opponents say. More than three-quarters of black adolescent and young adult smokers use Newports, a menthol cigarette produced by Lorillard, according to a 2004 study.

2011 study led by a Stanford University researcher found that stores within walking distance of California high schools attended by large numbers of black students were more likely to advertise menthol cigarettes. It also found that Newports, the most popular brand of menthol cigarettes, tended to be cheaper.

Lorillard disagreed with the conclusion, saying that it marketed its products “uniformly throughout California,” and that retailers themselves set prices.

The issue of race has complicated discussions of menthol, said Valerie Yerger, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who provided testimony to the drug agency and its expert panel in 2010. Several black groups lobbied against a ban on grounds that it would discriminate against blacks, since a larger proportion of them prefer menthol cigarettes.

The racial politics are delicate, experts said, though it is not clear whether they are contributing to the slowness of the regulatory process.

Many smoking opponents seem willing to give Mr. Zeller, a 55-year-old lawyer named in March to lead the F.D.A.’s tobacco unit, the benefit of the doubt. He began his career at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer health advocacy group, and many smoking opponents see him as a strong public health proponent.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that he’s going to move to meaningful action on menthol,” said Joelle Lester, a Minnesota-based lawyer with the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, a nonprofit network of legal centers for tobacco control policy.

The F.D.A. also announced that it would conduct a public education campaign focused on young people this year, and said it was commissioning three new pieces of research related to menthol, including one on genetic differences in taste perceptions that might explain why some racial and ethnic populations are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes.

“The bottom line is, we need more information,” Mr. Zeller said. “We also need input from the public.”

SOURCE : www.nytimes.com

 

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