Addition of menthol to cigarettes will increase smoking frequency and nicotine dependency amongst youth
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Currently within the public remark part, the United States Food and Drug Administration is ready to finalize guidelines prohibiting menthol in tobacco merchandise, citing an effort to cut back habit and youth experimentation, enhance quitting amongst present people who smoke and deal with well being disparities. A nationally consultant examine of 1,092 youths within the U.S., carried out between 2013 and 2019, supplies proof supporting this FDA motion.

Publishing within the June 6, 2022 on-line challenge of JAMA Network Open by researchers at University of California San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, the examine famous that the proportion of 12- to 17-year-old cigarette people who smoke who smoke menthol has risen to 56% and these menthol cigarettes seem to have led them to smoke extra continuously and turn out to be extra depending on nicotine.

The ‘cooling’ sensation of menthol masks the harshness of tobacco which may make cigarettes extra palatable to youth. Additionally, this cooling sensation can enable smoke to be inhaled deeper and held for lengthy, which can lead to a better absorption of nicotine per puff.”

Eric Leas, Ph.D., M.P.H., lead writer, assistant professor at UC San Diego Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science

“This may accelerate physical dependence to nicotine leading youth to smoke more often,” mentioned Leas.

Using information from the nationally consultant Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) longitudinal examine, undertaken by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products below contract with Westat, researchers in contrast use of menthol-flavored and nonmenthol cigarettes.

For youth who smoked, consuming menthol cigarettes was related to 2.8 extra days of smoking prior to now 30 days, 38% larger danger of being a frequent smoker, and an 8% larger nicotine dependency.

Youth who switched from menthol cigarettes to unflavored cigarettes smoked 3.6 fewer days over a 30-day interval, had a 47% decrease danger of being a frequent smoker, and had a 3% decrease nicotine dependency.

About menthol cigarettes

  • Menthol is a naturally occurring chemical discovered within the oils of mint however additionally it is synthetically produced in labs.
  • In addition to the “minty” style, menthol has pain-relieving and numbing properties.
  • Menthol was first added to tobacco within the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties. Today, almost 18.6 million present people who smoke use menthol cigarettes on this nation.
  • Marketing of menthol merchandise has been focused in direction of Black and LGBTQ+ people and low-income communities. Approximately 85% of Black people who smoke eat menthol cigarettes in comparison with 48% of Latinos, 41% of Asians and 30% of white people who smoke. The FDA reported menthol cigarette use declined amongst white youth however didn’t lower amongst Black or Latino youth.

Moving in direction of a menthol ban

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking stays the main reason behind preventable illness, incapacity and demise within the U.S. Tobacco use is related to 1 in 5 deaths. More than 90% of present people who smoke began smoking as youngsters, and it’s estimated that 80% of youths who used tobacco started with flavored tobacco merchandise.

“Some studies project that banning menthol could avert as many as 633,000 deaths,” mentioned senior writer John P. Pierce, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor on the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

“Our findings suggest that the addition of menthol to cigarettes is increasing smoking frequency and nicotine dependency among youth. Menthol cigarettes are also making it harder for them to progress towards quitting. These results provide strong support for the FDA-proposed ban on menthol flavoring in cigarettes to protect our youth.”

Co-authors embrace Tarik Benmarhnia and David Strong of UC San Diego.


Journal reference:

Leas, E.C., et al. (2022) Use of Menthol Cigarettes, Smoking Frequency, and Nicotine Dependence Among US Youth. JAMA Network Open.

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