Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Irish Heart Foundation has welcomed the ban on menthol flavoured cigarettes and tobacco, which takes effect from tomorrow, May 20

Minister for Health Simon Harris welcomes the ban, saying: “The pleasant taste of menthol masks the true taste of tobacco and might attract first time smokers or keep people smoking who might wish to quit.”

The May 20 ban comes, as evidence links are strengthening between the severity of Covid-19 symptoms in an individual and their history of smoking.
Dr Angie Brown, Medical Director, Irish Heart Foundation, said the ban will contribute to reducing adolescents smoking levels in Ireland.
“There has been good research which demonstrates that young people are often introduced to smoking with menthol cigarettes as they find them less harsh and irritative to the throat due to the menthol and therefore more palatable. Unfortunately, that is a way they get introduced to regular smoking.
“There is also evidence that if you smoke menthol cigarettes it’s actually harder to quit so they are possibly even more addictive. Indeed, there is a pharmacological rational as it seems that menthol affects nicotine levels, it decreases the breakdown and affects the receptors in the brain so raising the levels of nicotine. So potentially they are actually more addictive. Of course, they have all the carcinogens that non-menthol cigarettes have so they still cause cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and emphysema and they are certainly not safer than non-menthol cigarettes.
“Furthermore, the cigarette companies have consistently targeted women with these products so we strongly feel that they should be banned and welcome the government’s decision to do so.”
For support and advice on quitting smoking call the National Smokers’ Quitline on 1800 201 203 or visit www.quit.ie.

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