The FDA is having a hearing to determine whether or not it should ban the sale of menthol cigarettes. The Tobacco Control Act already banns most tobacco flavorings, but does not include menthol — which makes up about one third of the $70 billion cigarette business.
From the WSJ:
“We have concluded that menthol does not play a unique role in the initiation of cigarettes,” said Jennifer L. Hunter, vice president for corporate affairs for Altria Group Inc. (MO), the parent company for Philip Morris USA, in testimony before a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel considering limiting or banning menthol-flavored smokes.
The purpose of the hearing is for the FDA to hear testimony about whether or not menthol flavoring masks the taste of tobacco and therefore makes the cigarettes more addictive.