Menthol jobs? Quit it, Lorillard

I am a junior at Asheville High School, and president of our Teens Against Tobacco Use club. Asheville puts an emphasis on healthy living, which we have received many awards for. I was appalled by the pathetic call to President Obama when he visited last week by Murray Kessler, president of the Lorillard tobacco company, in a paid advertisement titled “Dear Mr. President.”

In his air-filled fallacy of an argument he states that, by allowing menthol in cigarettes, North Carolina is provided with “well-paid workers.” His statement about eliminating the 30 percent of cigarettes that are menthol would put many people out of a job was absurd to me. These products might add jobs but they kill 12,000 North Carolinians a year. We could only hope that tobacco companies would just roll over and die like they are alluding to, but we all know that will never happen. They will keep on pushing to attract more customers with their new products and strategic advertising.

Menthol cigarettes are a local anesthetic that allows people to breathe in more of the smoke that contains about 60 cancer-causing agents. Menthol allows you to pull in more nicotine and you become addicted quicker. Menthol is traditionally used more among African-Americans. Lorillard produces Newport cigarettes; 75 percent of African American Smokers use Newport. Kessler states that there is no difference in “normal” cigarettes and menthol cigarettes. If this was true than why is it there to begin with? I promise it’s not just there to add jobs.

— Tyler Long
Asheville

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2 thoughts on “Menthol jobs? Quit it, Lorillard

  1. Dionysis

    Yes, well, tobacco companies are not models of honesty and decorum, are they? After all, they push a product that when used as intended, results in the ill health or death of the consumer. Inevitably, ‘market shrinkage’ will occur.

    While you are too young to recall this, several years ago, the Chief Executive Officers of the seven largest tobacco companies, stated to Congress under oath that they “did not believe that cigarettes were harmful to one’s health.” This group was (and still is) referred to as the “Seven Dwarfs.”

    And one final bit of trivia…in 1971 (well after the first health warnings appeared on cigarette packs), then Philip Morris Tobacco Company CEO Joseph Cullman promised to remove any ingredients from their products that proved to be harmful, and in an effort to “assure pregnant moms that smoking is safe” stated that smoking may be good for some moms because “some women prefer smaller babies.”

  2. Tobacco Worker

    small thinking for small minds, smoking is a choice, and it is no longer the 1990s or 70s, those individuals have nothing to do with today’s tobacco industry,…stop trying to govern free will,…you say you’re from a healthy area, start with a healthy mind and stop judging others.

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