TRENTON (CBS) – New Jersey could become the first state to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes.
New Jersey’s Office of Legislative Services held a general assembly for the Health and Senior Services Committee in regards to the sale of cigarettes, particularly the sale of menthol cigarettes, which is being looked at as a leader of health problems.
During the committee hearing, Assemblyman Herb Conaway pointed out the dangerous cooling effects of menthol that allows smokers to inhale more toxic substances that cause health problems. Conaway also claims that menthol cigarette manufacturers racially profile the areas they advertise in, specifically targeting black communities, and that menthol is a highly addictive substance that leads to lung cancer.
“Black males, in particular, are probably, as a group, the most affected by lung cancer related to smoking. Menthol cigarettes have been heavily advertised in black communities, which in my view, has led to this very high prevalence rate among black males,” said Conaway.
While some argued that a ban on menthol cigarettes would cause a loss of revenue, Conaway stated that the loss of revenue would be offset by the benefits it could lead to.
In closing arguments, the idea of New Jersey being a small state geographically was brought to attention and that residents could easily travel on a daily basis to other states that are closer and who haven’t banned menthol sales. They could make their purchases there and then bring them back in to the state.