2004 No Wine Shop

2003 Philadelphia Alcohol Billboard Ban

Stop Liquor Ads on NBC

2002 Community Partners

Swisher Ain't Sweet

Marlboro Mild

1998 African Amer. & Tobacco Settlement

1998 African Amer. Tobacco Ind. Lawsuit

1997 Say No to Menthol Joe

1996 Hands off Halloween

1995 X Cigarette

1994 World No Tobacco Day Activities

1993 Defeat of PowerMaster Malt Liquor

1990 Uptown Coalition




Have you ever thought about the menthol in cigarettes?
Well, here's some information you need to know:

Some 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 Newport—the #1 selling menthol cigarette brand—was introduced recently. Marlboro, the #1 selling regular cigarette brand, now has two mentholated versions—Menthol 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 menthol—mostly women and young, beginning smokers.

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 cigarettes:

"Smokers 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)

Revised 9/3/00
The Onyx Group

Fact sheet for the lawsuit.

Fact sheet for menthol in cigarettes.

Article about the Menthol lawsuit.

Other media coverage on the lawsuit.

The Civil Rights lawsuit.

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National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery
1231 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19122 P: 215-235-6488 F: 215-235-6491 E: info@naaapi.org