Studies blast menthol cigarettes as FDA weighs ban

"Several key issues, such as a potential increase in cigarette smuggling and contraband if menthol cigarettes were eliminated from the market, need additional study," Reynolds chief scientist Jeffery Gentry said in a recent statement. "We continue to believe that any final decision by the Agency should be based on sound science, and we look forward to continuing to provide information and our perspectives on this issue to the Agency as it undertakes this process."

One of studies published Thursday also found people who smoked menthol cigarettes found it harder to quit.

"The consensus of responsible scientists now strongly confirms that menthol flavorings lure youth to start smoking and then make it harder for menthol smokers to quit," added Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association. "We believe, as the majority of Americans do, and the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee has advised the FDA, menthol cigarettes pose a significant public health threat and they should be taken off the market."

The other groups joining in the call for a ban are Legacy and the American Academy of Pediatrics.