(Washington, DC) -- The Food and Drug Administration says menthol cigarettes "raise critical public health questions." Among the concerns noted by the FDA are increased dependence and less success in kicking the habit, particularly among black smokers. The agency released a preliminary evaluation today asking for input on possible standards prohibiting or limiting menthol cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes make up about 30 percent of the market.
News of the FDA's preliminary evaluation sent menthol cigarette makers' stock prices tumbling. Lorillard fell more than four percent in mid-day trading, while Reynolds took a hit of almost three percent.