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