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The Food and Drug Administration announced last week that it would begin the process of banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. The move comes after years of public pressure and legal challenges from anti-smoking groups aimed at compelling the FDA to follow through on its own recommendation that menthol cigarettes be banned.
Menthol is a substance that can be derived from mint plants or created synthetically. It was first added to cigarettes in the 1920s, when manufacturers learned that in addition to its flavoring, menthol creates a cooling sensation in the throat that can mask the harshness
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