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Menthol Cigarette Ban and COVID-19

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posted on May, 1 2021 @ 06:46 AM
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From some scant reading I've done on the subject of the menthol cigarette ban, it seems that this health issue is related to increased smoking during the COVID-19 pandemic, esp in the African American community. The assumption is that because smoking is bad for your health and respiration, it will make the pandemic worse for the black community, a hard hit segment of the population.

I won't go into the already debated theories on how nicotine prevents a cytokine storm from COVID-19. Below is information from the NIH on that subject.


Nicotine can selectively reduce the inflammatory response in various infection states, including Legionella pneumophila and Chlamydia pneumoniae infection, via the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway [6]. Nicotine is an agonist at the α7 subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine (α7-nACh) receptors on innate immune cells such as macrophages. These receptors respond to acetylcholine from different sources, including other immune cells and the vagus nerve, and their activation causes suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Nicotine is able to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by mimicking the binding of acetylcholine.



In the absence of any effective treatment for COVID-19, further research as to whether nicotine replacement offers protection against severe SAR-CoV-2 infection in smokers is clearly essential. If the mechanisms through which nicotine may interact with the virus remain speculative, the effects of route of administration, duration, dosing and frequency of use of nicotine on any such interaction are unknown.


NIH LINK

There is evidence that states "Nicotine is able to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines", but of course, "Smoking bad! Quit smoking!".

But what of menthol? I remember the reports made early in the pandemic that people in India and in other areas were using Vicks or other products in boiling water and breathing the vapors to treat or prevent COVID-19. That idea was quickly shot down and claimed to cause health problems and was useless against COVID. So I looked into the use of menthol in treating COVID, if there were any studies that found a connection to the virus and menthol. I found only one from a dubious source about a Jamaican study published by "The Gleaner" in Jamaica.


“It is the opinion of this research team and inventor that the menthol crystal fume attaches to the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract in the form of micro spikes or cilia (pseudo-cilia). It is this pseudo-cilia, or spikes, that prevent the binding of the S protein of the COVID-19 virus to the ACE-2 receptors on the human cells, thus preventing a successful invasion into the body by the virus,” said Christopher Ogunsalu.


The Gleaner Article Link

This Nigerian-born Dr. Christopher Ogunsalu is certainly not a trust worthy professional scientist IMO. Here is his very minimal linked in bio.


Christopher Ogunsalu
DENTIST, MEDICAL DOCTOR, MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEON & RADIOLOGIST
Ibadan University


His credentials hardly makes this guy an expert on the COVID virus, but it gets better.


BACKGROUND checks on controversial dentist, Nigerian-born Dr Christopher Ogunsalu have revealed that he was charged in 2007 with assaulting a female assistant during a dispute at his Montego Bay office in St James.
The dental specialist triggered a firestorm recently by requesting $1.8 million for the release of his findings from an analysis of remains believed to be those of murdered Trinidadian school teacher Michelle Coudray-Greaves before producing the report to the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Friday morning.
At the same time, Coudray-Greaves' mother has expressed disappointment at Ogunsalu's action, which had stalled the murder case and caused much pain to loved ones.


Jamaica Observer Article

Given that this article from The Gleaner is identical in every source, and this study group, although the members were named, had no official name or website I could find, it looks very questionable, like some kind of scam. However, the good doctor has a device he invented for the use of menthol to prevent COVID infection. An advertisement for some quack snake oil perhaps?



But can the finding be used, and how? Daniel Ogunsalu, a UWI, Mona, undergraduate student, has developed methods by which menthol crystal can be used to prevention COVID-19, including a self-assembled device to replace the face mask comprising a face shield attached to eyeglasses with a slot for a menthol pack. This slot will carry a replaceable perforated cassette (plastic or paper). Larger cassettes have also been devised to be used in houses, offices, and inside motor vehicles. Alternatively, he said, the shield could be mentholated overnight in a container.

. . . The team has decided not to patent its discovery so it can be immediately engaged in the global fight against COVID-19, especially with many developing countries being left behind in the vaccination race.


Breaking Belize News Link

I could find no legitimate source that would support this group's claims, so I am left with this highly questionable study from a Nigerian born doctor practicing dentistry in Jamaica.

Be that as it may, I'm still left wondering if this ban on menthol cigarettes is a potential cover up or worse, to intentionally drive up the mortality of the pandemic, specifically in the black community.
edit on 1-5-2021 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Corrections



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 06:54 AM
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Christopher Ogunsalu
DENTIST, MEDICAL DOCTOR, MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEON & RADIOLOGIST
Ibadan University


Damn. Talented dude!


Cheers
edit on 1-5-2021 by F2d5thCavv2 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 07:02 AM
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Just so you know this has been an ongoing issue since 2013, during both Obama and Trump.

Just a personal aside, back in the day, I couldn't have been more than 15, at the beach, representatives from Kool just passed out small packs of 5 cigarettes free to me and anyone else. Menthol was the first I smoked and did off and on for quite a few years. Regular cigarettes made me nauseous.

Here's an interesting article, with the history and black physicians are behind the ban.



Thursday’s announcement is the result of a lawsuit filed by anti-smoking and medical groups last summer to force the FDA to finally make a decision on menthol, alleging that regulators had “unreasonably delayed” responding to a 2013 petition seeking to ban the flavor.




The Food and Drug Administration has attempted several times to get rid of menthol but faced pushback from Big Tobacco, members of Congress and competing political interests in both the Obama and Trump administrations. Any menthol ban will take years to implement and will likely face legal challenges from tobacco companies.


ABC News



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 07:05 AM
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a reply to: frogs453

Heh, I'm remembering the packs of chocolate cigs that were given to kids in the 1960s. Get 'em going early.

Cheers



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 07:11 AM
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Menthol is highly toxic and can even be fatal with overuse. Using it in it's crystal form like this is highly dangerous in my view.

There are calcium channels in cell membranes throughout our bodies, and that is why we can see systemic toxicity after swallowing or inhaling concentrated amounts of menthol. Serious effects include seizures, coma, and death.

Menthol can cause eye and skin irritation.



Some nasal inhalers contain menthol. The menthol makes us feel as though we are breathing easier, but it does not actually help with congestion. In fact, it appears that more inflammation develops.


Menthol

Menthol cigarettes have been banned in UK since May 2020....a year ago.

Rainbows
Jane



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: angelchemuel

The toxicity of menthol is a good point, one I should have looked into. Add that to frogs453 post about the 2013 petition to ban menthol in cigarettes, and my paranoid conspiracy theory begins to dissolve.

However, nicotine is still on the table. There is always that to cling to on my sinking ship.
edit on 1-5-2021 by MichiganSwampBuck because: For Clarity



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 07:52 AM
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a reply to: angelchemuel
I knew an old woman who smoked since her early teens. She later started smoking menthol for about the last 50 years of her life. She finally died in her 90's of "natural causes". Her heart stopped. I have no doubt smoking shortened her life, but I don't see menthol cigs as being any more dangerous than non-menthol. Both are detrimental to your health.

I am not saying you are wrong about overuse of menthol, I am saying when it comes to smoking, arguing menthol vs non-menthol is like arguing regular soda vs diet soda, high fructose vs aspartame. Who cares? Neither is good for you.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 08:04 AM
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Here's something interesting.


Menthol Enhances the Desensitization of Human α3β4 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

Abstract - The α3β4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype is widely expressed in the peripheral and central nervous systems, including in airway sensory nerves. The nAChR subtype transduces the irritant effects of nicotine in tobacco smoke and, in certain brain areas, may be involved in nicotine addiction and/or withdrawal. Menthol, a widely used additive in cigarettes, is a potential analgesic and/or counterirritant at sensory nerves and may also influence nicotine’s actions in the brain.


Menthol works on the nervous system receptors reducing the irritating effects of nicotine. I wonder what other synergistic effect it has on nicotine and what other receptors menthol can affect?

From my original post . . .


Nicotine is an agonist (attaches) at the α7 subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine (α7-nACh) receptors on innate immune cells such as macrophages.


NIH Study Link

ETA: It's beginning to look more and more like the NIH knows all about the beneficial effects of nicotine and menthol in COVID related molecular biology. Strange how they don't talk about all this, isn't it?
edit on 1-5-2021 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 09:25 AM
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originally posted by: angelchemuel
Menthol is highly toxic and can even be fatal with overuse. Using it in it's crystal form like this is highly dangerous in my view.

There are calcium channels in cell membranes throughout our bodies, and that is why we can see systemic toxicity after swallowing or inhaling concentrated amounts of menthol. Serious effects include seizures, coma, and death.

Menthol can cause eye and skin irritation.



Some nasal inhalers contain menthol. The menthol makes us feel as though we are breathing easier, but it does not actually help with congestion. In fact, it appears that more inflammation develops.


Menthol

Menthol cigarettes have been banned in UK since May 2020....a year ago.

Rainbows
Jane

I've recently discovered what they call cigarillos.
Basically cigarette with a thin tobacco leaf around the tobacco instead of paper.
They also have the capsule in the filter so you can turn them into a menthol
They even come in ten packs which were banned a few years back in cigarettes.
Where there's a will there's a way it seems.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck
Since imported Menthol cigarettes will be expensive, consumption will be reduced.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 10:10 AM
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a reply to: glen200376

I'd rather dry some mint from my garden and add it to my rolling tobacco like I do with the sage

But yes, where there is a will there's a way

Rainbows
Jane



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 10:21 AM
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a reply to: angelchemuel


i still have a whole carton of Doral 100s Menthol from 20 plus years ago when that product had a 'coupon redemption' Promotion in play with the Public...

back then 'Doral' would send cartons of cigarettes thru the Postal Mail System

(with all the 'woke' people in America cigs in the mail would he a high-crime & misdemeanor upon society...)



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: F2d5thCavv2

And then in the early 2000s Camel had a series of "flavored cigarettes". Chocolate Mint was my favorite (surprisingly not a menthol base). Of course, "candy" flavored cigarettes were banned. Some kids are rebellious and/or some parents won't do their jobs, so the rest of us can't enjoy catching cancer the flavorful way.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 10:47 AM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

I don't understand any of this science, despite your best efforts to a cabbage like me.

All the same I do know menthol was/is a go to first stop treatment for colds and clogged chests in the UK. Passed on down generations.

I used to smoke menthol 120's until I took the pledge many years ago. I still remember the guy saying to me, when I told him what I smoked, "Ah right...kill and cure in the same breath".

Seems about right.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 10:51 AM
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a reply to: frogs453

I think any ban on menthol cigarettes is racist. As "They" love to point out menthol is overwhelmingly the black community's cigarette of choice.

That's the leftist MO. Deflect and project. Call everyone a bigot, and then try to implement bigoted policy.

Is the black community so inferior that they can't handle self-determination like the rest of us? Do they need help from the white leftists?

Of course menthol and nicotine is harmful. So are these Chips Ahoy cookies I just gorged myself with.

Are menthol cigarettes bad for Covid patients? Frankly, it doesn't matter. Mr. Johnson up the road from me is a grown man who knows the harmful effects of the cigarettes he smokes. It's his choice.

We don't need a nanny state anymore than we need a welfare state. Let Mr. Johnson decide whether or not he wants his Newports.

If I were black and enjoyed menthol, then I would be pissed. Effects on Covid be damned.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 11:42 AM
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Can we stop with the bullsh*t? Cigarettes BAD, Weed GOOD. It's political bullsh*t. "Big Tobacco" supported Conservatives the Liberals didn't like them. That's why cigarettes are bad. Plain and simple. Cancer has nothing to do with it. Just a way for lawyers to make money.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 12:24 PM
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I have a correction for the original post.

An undergraduate student named Daniel Ogunsalu has the menthol face mask invention idea, not Dr Christopher Ogunsalu. Perhaps the son of Doctor or another close relative. This information doesn't change my suspicions of this being some kind of a snake oil scam or at the least an attempt to profit from the pandemic.
edit on 1-5-2021 by MichiganSwampBuck because: For Clarity



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

Nice coincidence with my governments lately and sudden anti-smoker campaigns as high priority. Amazing how they care suddenly.

Before that, they rather traumatize young kids with graphic pictures on cigarette packs, ready visible on every damn supermarket cashier row, to every kid that just looks up it will see dead, cut open bodies, people griefing and stuff you would normally be warned about on TV beforehand, to get the children out of the room.

But to protect us from ourself, collateral damage has always been okay.
edit on 1.5.2021 by ThatDamnDuckAgain because: (no reason given)

edit on 1.5.2021 by ThatDamnDuckAgain because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 02:32 PM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck

The toxicity of menthol is a good point, one I should have looked into. Add that to frogs453 post about the 2013 petition to ban menthol in cigarettes, and my paranoid conspiracy theory begins to dissolve.

However, nicotine is still on the table. There is always that to cling to on my sinking ship.



But you are missing the main reason they want to banned menthol. Over 85% of the people who smoke menthol cigs are Black... You see Black people can not think for themselves so we need to control what they eat, smoke, Drink etc...its for their own good.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: filthyphilanthropist

I remember those! I used to like the Mocha and there was a fruity flavored one too. I also would occasionally get vanilla flavored (I don't remember the brand name) anywhere I could find them. Sometimes I would get clove cigs, I liked the smell of them at the time. When I first started smoking I started with menthols, but switched to non-menthol after a couple years. After I stopped the menthol anytime I tried a menthol it seemed to be wayy too much for me. I did enjoy the other flavored cigs though I will say.




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