SHEET: MENTHOL IN CIGARETTES
you ever thought about the menthol in cigarettes?
Well, here's some information you need to know:
cigarette brands are manufactured as menthol-only. Others
come in both regular and menthol versions. Kool, Salem and
Maverick are menthol-only. A regular, non-menthol version
of Newportthe #1 selling menthol cigarette brandwas
introduced recently. Marlboro, the #1 selling regular cigarette
brand, now has two mentholated versionsMenthol and Mild.
Most African American smokers are addicted to menthols. Approximately
3 out of 4 Black smokers prefer menthols, and among Black
youth who smoke, some reports indicate that more than 9 out
of 10 choose menthols. Among whites, approximately 1/4 of
smokers prefer mentholmostly women and young, beginning
Menthol brands are selling well. In the mid-1990s, sales of
mentholated cigarettes were growing at about 4-5% a year according
to the Winston-Salem Journal (12/1/96). Newport menthol is
still doing quite well despite the overall decline in cigarette
sales and has been called "the fastest growing cigarette
in the country" according to the Business Journal of
the Greater Triad Area (4/19/99).
Menthol in cigarettes does not make the cigarettes safer.
Even though the menthol is the same ingredient that is used
in medicines like cough drops, in cigarettes it is used as
a flavoring agent with no medicinal properties.
Menthol in cigarettes has never been officially sanctioned.
Although the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates
menthol in other products as GRAS (Generally Recognized As
Safe) the FDA is not allowed to regulate the ingredients in
cigarettes and so nothing is known of the properties of menthol
when it is mixed with tobacco and ignited.
Here are what some top researchers say about menthol in
of menthol cigarettes tend to inhale more deeply because menthol
has an anesthetic and cooling effect." (Dr. Karen Ahijevych,
The Ohio State University)
"Because menthol alters the metabolism of carcinogens
in tobacco smoke, it may be the reason for greater mortality
and morbidity among menthol smokers." (Dr. Jasjit S.
Ahluwalia, University of Kansas)
"Mentholated cigarettes are associated with higher cotinine
levels and carbon monoxide concentrations than non-mentholated
cigarettes." (Dr. Pamela I. Clark, Journal of Chest Physicians)
"Research has shown that smokers of low- and medium-nicotine
menthol cigarettes have as much as three times the exposure
to toxic and cancer-inducing agents as smokers of non-menthol
cigarettes with comparable nicotine content." (Dr. Karam
El-Bayoumy, American Health Foundation)
The Onyx Group