WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Within a year there could be some changes in the production of cigarettes. The U.S. Food and drug association recently shared its plan to ban certain tobacco products.
The FDA’s website says the organization “commits to evidence-based actions aimed to save lives” when it comes to menthol and other flavor cigarettes and cigars. This has sparked much debate among people, with some in agreeance and others who say it should be their choice.
As an effort to prevent tobacco-related addictions and death, the FDA is pushing to ban the use of menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars. A decision some residents say shouldn’t be up to the individual.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to do that because, I don’t know, people smoke menthol cigarettes,” said Williamsport resident, Ray Murphy.
“I think they should talk to the people first before making that decision because they’re going to lose out on a lot of money,” said Dominique Thomas who lives in Williamsport.
Others disagree and say they support the FDA’s proposal because of the effects of smoking on your health.
“I just don’t believe in it. I don’t believe in smoking at all,” said Josephine Miller, Williamsport resident.
“I think cigarettes are pretty bad and they do lead to a lot of medical issues later on and the main reason we have a lot of older people with these medical issues is because it was a popular things back in the day,” said Williamsport resident, Michael Shorlo.
The FDA’s website says they are quote “Working toward issuing proposed product standards within the next year to ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and ban all characterizing flavors (including menthol) in cigars.”
Local healthcare professionals are in favor of this decision and say this will decrease the influence of smoking on children and youth.
“Clearly things like flavored nicotine products are going to be more attractive, especially to younger folks and lead to higher levels of addiction,” said Dr. Matthew Facktor, Director of Geisinger’s Lung Cancer Screening Program.
“50% of young people, they end up starting smoking with these menthol cigarettes. By us being more proactive and making this more you know difficult to obtain and to ban this, will ultimately decrease the number of people who will end up smoking,” said Dr. Marcus Powers, family medicine, UPMC North Central.