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South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare has revealed plans to regulate the flavoring of cigarettes, according to a story in The Korea Bizwire.
The Ministry says it will be working alongside other ministries, such as the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, to pass three bills that would ban or limit flavored cigarettes.
According to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a study of cigarettes carried out by Professor Shin Hosang of Kongju National University in 2016 and 2017 had shown that they contained between two and 28 flavorings.
Meanwhile, professor Kim Huijin, of Yonsei University, reportedly said that 65 percent of 9,063 people between the ages of 13 to 39 who participated in an online survey consumed flavored cigarettes.
Those whose first cigarettes were flavored were said to be 1.4 times more likely to become regular smokers than those who started with cigarettes with no added flavors.
And more than 70 percent of smokers were said to have indicated that the flavor of their cigarettes of choice was an influential factor in trying them for the first time.
The story said that menthol, one of the ingredients used to produce a minty flavor, was known to numb the nerves and minimize the stimulation that users felt when inhaling smoke.
‘As smokers inhale other dangerous substances in cigarettes such as nicotine, the chances of becoming addicted and being exposed to cancer escalates,’ the story said. ‘Theobromine, an ingredient found in cocoa, expands the bronchus allowing nicotine to be absorbed in the lungs.’