Banning Menthol Cigarettes in California

The New York Times published an article that discussed the possible removal of menthol cigaretts from the market and how it would benefit health nationwide.

Studies have shown that menthol cigarettes are more harmful than regular ones due to the fact that the smoker inhales more toxins. Due to the fact that San Francisco has a large smoking population, this issue hits home to the citizens of San Francisco.

Smoking cigarettes can lead to a variet of health problems including cancer. In the past forty years, California has decreased in the number of lung cancer rates due to California being the second state with the least smokers in the country, being beaten out by Utah at number one. According to, both Utah and California have less than 16 percent smokers. In 2010 Utah has a smoking population of 10 percent and California is at 13 percent. According to a report, although the smoking rates have decreased in the past forty years, ever 1 in 5 is still smoking.

There are benefits to banning menthol cigarettes health wise but what does this mean for the economy? Studies have shown that the economy will suffer from the ban of cigarettes. In 2000, the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research on smoke-friendly and smoker-unfriendly and what this means in bars and restaurants. Studies show all the smoker-unfriendly states’ bar and restaurant revenue growth was substantially lower than total revenue growth, except in Utah’s case. did a study that demonstrated if California’s bar and restaurant retail growth had kept up with the other smoker-friendly states between 1990 and 1998, California’s bar and restaurant revenue would have grown from $26.3 billion in 1990 to $41 billion in 1998. This is a bar and restaurant revenue loss of $15 billion for 1998 alone. However, this trend had been going on for eight years, and interpolating a linear trend on the data, we find total revenue loss for the eight-year period is $60 billion dollars.

Although banning menthol cigarettes or cigarette in general would be beneficial to the health of citizens in California, specifically San Francisco, this would affect the economy. The state is in a position where they need all the revenue they can get, perhaps banning cigarette is a bad thing.

I believe this story should be followed up by another describing the process that the state or city will go through if the menthol band happens.

A breakdown of all the states and the percentage of those who smoke can be seen in the bar graph image Book133.

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