FDA discusses risks of menthol cigarettes

(NBC) - FDA advisors are discussing menthol cigarettes and what risks are linked to the mint-flavored smokes.

The new FDA Tobacco Advisory Committee will discuss all topics related to menthol cigarettes, including marketing and consumer perception, health effects and whether menthols spark early smoking.

Some experts say the mint flavoring lures teens smokers.  Others say menthol cigarettes are being marketed to African Americans.

Industry representatives say they don't market to young adults and there is no evidence menthols cause more people to start smoking.

Menthols account for one-third of the nation's $70 billion cigarette market.

The advisory committee will meet again this summer and must issue a report on menthol cigarettes by next year.

The FDA has to take action by 2012. 

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