Goodbye to menthol cigarettes?
An FDA panel recommends pulling the flavored smokes from store shelves, but analysts are skeptical that the agency will follow through.
The FDA doesn't have to follow its panel's recommendations, but it often does. So there's a good chance that menthol cigarettes, which make up nearly a third of all U.S. cigarette sales, will disappear from store shelves. If it happens, the FDA said, it will be years from now, according to Dow Jones.
What's so wrong with menthol cigarettes? They're the preferred choice for adolescents, and the panel worries that menthols are a gateway to youths becoming regular smokers, according to Dow Jones.
The recommendation would dramatically affect Lorillard (LO), which makes the menthol-flavored Newport line. Newports make up about 90% of Lorillard's sales. Altria (MO) and Reynolds American (RAI) also sell menthols, but their sales are more evenly distributed across non-menthols and other products.
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So why did Lorillard shares rise so dramatically Friday? In midday trading, the stock was up nearly 9% to $85.66. It seems the industry -- and some analysts who cover it -- is skeptical that the FDA will go through with any ban. Altria shares were up 1%, and Reynolds American rose more than 2%.
Even if a ban did happen, the cigarette industry could survive it, said analysts from Moody's Investors Service. The analysts estimate that a ban would cut into cigarette sales by about 8% to 10% the first year but that sales would eventually get back to the normal annual drops of 3% to 4%.
The cigarette industry is profitable and could take the revenue hit, a Moody's analyst said, according to Dow Jones.
Even the chairman of the panel that made the FDA recommendation expressed concern that a ban could push menthols into the black market. The FDA "would need to consider the potential for contraband under those scenarios," said the chairman, a professor at a University of California medical school, according to Bloomberg. "There may be strategies other than a full removal."
Cigarette companies aren't taking this news lying down. Lorillard and Reynolds have sued the FDA to essentially block the panel's recommendations, Bloomberg reported. The companies claim that three of the eight panelists have conflicts of interest, having served as paid witnesses in prior tobacco lawsuits.
Here the feds go trying to be my parents again. Everytime they get one of these types of laws passed it emboldens them to continue to step all over the Constitution and take away my rights as an individual which is what the Constitution is based on. Isn't the government supposed to protect the Constitution of the United States. Maybe they should all be arrested and convicted of treason.
While we are at banning menthol cigarettes; we might as well ban: Fast food (obesity), Alcohol (Alcoholism), Automobiles (traffic deaths), Cell Phones (UHF Radiation), Microwaves (More radiation), Soft Drinks (Obesity), Diet soft drinks (phenylalanine may cause cancer or alzheimer's), The internet (cyber bulling makes kids cry and kill themselves), Hot dogs and Bologna (because no one really knows what is in it), All Meat Products (because they can raise cholesterol), Prescription medication (people get addicted to painkillers), Cough syrup and baby formula (people use it to make meth), Production and power plants (they pollute), Tylenol (can cause irreversible liver damage), Household cleaners (they contain poisons), Guns (because liberals think they are bad), Steak knives...hammers...baseball bats...people wearing gloves (because they kill too).
Then we could require everybody to apply government mandated sun block SPF 120 (we could make it green so that you can easily tell who is in violation), because the sun causes cancer and now the government (i.e. the U.S Tax Payer) has to pay for healthcare. But, we must not ban abortion; because it does not end life (for those who believe otherwise you must not know what the definition of life truly is...when you were taught that life was defined as metabolism and cell reproduction, you were lied to...just ask a liberal).
And, everybody could be appointed their own personal government approved administrator. This position would ensure that none of us ever made another wrong decision again. After all, isn't it obvious that the government knows better than you or I.
IN THE END HE REALIZED THAT HE TRULY LOVED BIG BROTHER.
I'm a smoker. I know it's bad but it's my life not the governments. If cigarettes are so bad for you then why don't they just ban them all. No--because they would miss out on all the money cigarettes generate for them. Two- faced ridiculous people that work for the government and have all this time on their hands to come up with bull_____ like this. Give me a freaken break will ya. I have had it with the asinine ideas the government has. What a waste of money. How about finding better energy source or better yet more money for research of cancer.
Basically what we're all getting at is that everything is bad for you in one way or another, some obviously more than others but the right to choose what I put into my own body, as long as it doesn't endanger or affect anyone else directly, I think should be a freedom that we all should have. It's simply unethical to tell people what they can and cannot do to themselves, plain and simple. If they want to put ciggarette addiction into the same categories as other drugs that have the potential to be abused and offer help to people I think that would be fine and beneficial to society, but we've all learned how making something illegal when there's an obvious market for it just increases crime rates. We would make ciggarettes a black market item and force them to be distributed and manufactured by criminals the same exact way that prohibition was and the way the war on drugs has gone thus far. You would think someone would see a pattern here but apparently every person we elect into office is just a selfish imbecile like all the rest.
How about they use the time trying to decide whether or not to ban something and start cracking down on stores that sell cigarettes and alcohol to minors, start hitting people with fines or arresting them for giving a cigarette or liquor to a minor. They worry about minors using the product, stop making it available to them. Stores and the general public need to become more accountable.
They got rid of caffeine in four loko, but that doesn't stop people from vodka and red bulls/rockstars making their own style of four loko.
I am a non-smoker, one who stopped decades ago so what I write does not come from any need to defend a filthy habit.
One need only ask what tax gets raised to make up for the losses of tax revenue that would come with any stoppage of mentholated smoking. If 20% of all smokes are menthol then it stands to reason we might lose some twenty percent of any taxes collected off of smoking. I do not need to tell you this is a bad thing for we all pay an ever increasing amount in income taxes and we mostly all own our own homes with the ever increasing taxes those bring to our wallets.
Forget for a moment this is a SIN tax and no politician in the world ever gets rid of a sin tax. Again, who makes up the lose of all that nice revenue, the poor and unemployed?????
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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