Tags: new smokers | more likely | menthol cigarettes | more addictive | harder to quit smoking

New Smokers Likely to Puff Doubly Addictive Menthols

Friday, 04 Dec 2009 09:50 AM

Smokers who started smoking in the last year are more likely to use menthol cigarettes (44.6 percent) than long-term smokers (31.8 percent), according to a new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). And among persons who smoked in the past month, the percentage of menthol smokers is rising—from 31.0 percent in 2004 to 33.9 percent in 2008.

Menthol is an additive used in cigarettes that masks the harshness of cigarette smoke by giving the smoker the sensation of coolness in the mouth, pharynx, and lungs. By masking the harshness, menthol can make it easier for young people to start smoking. Some recent research indicates that menthol cigarettes may be more difficult to quit than other types of cigarettes. Menthol is the only cigarette flavoring still permitted under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

"Menthol cigarettes may play a role in perpetuating cigarette smoking—one of the most preventable and deadly public health problems plaguing this nation," said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H.

"The apparent allure that menthol cigarettes have among younger, newer smokers is particularly troubling as menthol cigarettes may tempt more people to take up this dangerous deadly habit," Broderick said in a statement.

The study shows that the levels of menthol cigarette use among Black smokers (82.6 percent) remains much higher than White smokers (23.8 percent), Hispanic smokers (32.3 percent) and smokers from other racial and ethnic groups.

© HealthDay

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Smokers who started smoking in the last year are more likely to use menthol cigarettes (44.6 percent) than long-term smokers (31.8 percent).
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Friday, 04 Dec 2009 09:50 AM
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