Mentholated cigarettes decrease puff volume of smoke and increase carbon monoxide absorption.

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, UCLA 90024.
Physiology & Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.03). 10/1994; 56(3):563-70. DOI: 10.1016/0031-9384(94)90302-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The influence of mentholated vs. regular cigarettes on selected chemical and topographic parameters was measured in 20 smokers in a pulmonary function laboratory. Half the subjects were black and half were white; half were menthol and half regular smokers. All subjects smoked both types of cigarettes, one on each of 2 days. Compared to regular cigarettes, mentholated cigarettes produced a significantly greater boost in carbon monoxide measured as both blood carboxyhemoglobin and end-expired carbon monoxide, despite the fact that mentholated cigarettes decreased average and total cumulative puff volumes and increased mean puff flow rates of inhaled smoke. These chemical and topographic differences were independent of race. No significant differences in depth of inhalation of the smoke or in the amount of insoluble smoke particulates delivered to or retained in the respiratory tract were noted between the two types of cigarettes. Mentholation of cigarettes may decrease volume of smoke inhaled but appears to increase exposure of smokers to toxic effects of carbon monoxide.

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    ABSTRACT: The previous Lorillard memorandum #6384 reviewed and discussed the scientific literature on the title subjects . However, several new papers relating to these subjects have recently been published . The present memorandum discusses these new papers and is submitted as an addendum to the previous memorandum #6384 . (1.) A newly reported epidemiology study found no statistically significant differences between lung cancer risks for menthol smokers and regular cigarette smokers . (2.) A new paper on the complexities of the binding of carbon monoxide to hemoglobin, the oxygen- carrying component of the blood, further documented the problems inherent in the use of carbon monoxide exhalation to investigate purported effects of menthol on smoking topography . (3.) A new study of smoke constituent exposure in black and white women smokers reported increased puff volumes for mentholated cigarette smoke, in contrast to the findings of several prior investigations . However, the data for the menthol variable was incompletely presented in the new report, and the study design was seriously compromised by uncontrolled smoking by the experimental subjects immediately prior to the laboratory smoking sessions . The conclusions of this author's previous memorandum that cigarette mentholation has no substantive effect on smoking topography or on risks for the development of cancers of the respiratory tract are reinforced and remain unchanged in light of the recent publications .
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    ABSTRACT: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has the authority to regulate tobacco product constituents, including menthol, if the scientific evidence indicates harm. Few studies, however, have evaluated the health effects of menthol cigarette use. To investigate associations of cigarette smoking and menthol cigarette use with all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular risk in U.S. adults. We studied 10,289 adults ≥ 20 years of age who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999-2004 and were followed through December 2006. We also identified studies comparing risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer for menthol and nonmenthol cigarette smokers and estimates were pooled using random-effects models. Fifty-five percent of participants were never smokers compared to 23%, 17% and 5% of former, current nonmenthol and current menthol cigarette smokers, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) for former, current nonmenthol and current menthol cigarette smokers compared to never smokers were 1.24 (0.96, 1.62), 2.40 (1.56, 3.71) and 2.07 (1.20, 3.58), respectively, for all-cause mortality; 0.92 (0.62, 1.37), 2.10 (1.02, 4.31) and 3.48 (1.52, 7.99) for cardiovascular mortality; and 1.91 (1.21, 3.00), 3.82 (2.19, 6.68) and 2.03 (1.00, 4.13) for cancer mortality. Using data from 3 studies of all-cause mortality, 5 of cardiovascular disease and 13 of cancer, the pooled relative risks (95% CI) comparing menthol cigarette smokers to nonmenthol cigarette smokers was 0.94 (0.85, 1.05) for all-cause mortality, 1.28 (0.91, 1.80) for cardiovascular disease and 0.84 (0.76, 0.92) for any cancer. In a representative sample of U.S. adults, menthol cigarette smoking was associated with increased all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality with no differences compared to nonmenthol cigarettes. In the systematic review, menthol cigarette use was associated with inverse risk of cancer compared to nonmenthol cigarette use with some evidence of an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e77941. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the U.S. menthol remains the sole permitted characterizing cigarette flavor additive in part because efforts to link menthol cigarette use to increased tobacco-related disease risk have been inconclusive. To perform definitive studies, cigarettes that differ only in menthol content are required, yet these are not commercially available. We prepared research cigarettes differing only in menthol content by deposition of L-menthol vapor directly onto commercial nonmenthol cigarettes, and developed a method to measure a cigarette's menthol and nicotine content. With our custom-mentholation technique we achieved the desired moderately high menthol content (as compared to commercial brands) of 6.7 ± 1.0 mg/g (n = 25) without perturbing the cigarettes’ nicotine content (17.7 ± 0.9 mg/g [n = 25]). We also characterized other pertinent attributes of our custom-mentholated cigarettes, including percent transmission of menthol and nicotine to mainstream smoke and the rate of loss of menthol over time during storage at room temperature. We are currently using this simple mentholation technique to investigate the differences in human exposure to selected chemicals in cigarette smoke due only to the presence of the added menthol. Our cigarettes will also aid in the elucidation of the effects of menthol on the toxicity of tobacco smoke.
    Toxicology Reports 01/2014; 1:1068-1075.