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This article is part of the supplement: Mentholated cigarettes and public health

Open Access Open Badges Review

Menthol cigarettes and smoking cessation behavior

Allison C Hoffman1* and Donna Miceli2

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Tobacco Products, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD 20850, USA

2 Freelance medical write, Fort Myers, FL, USA

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Tobacco Induced Diseases 2011, 9(Suppl 1):S6  doi:10.1186/1617-9625-9-S1-S6

Published: 23 May 2011


Although much is known about smoking cessation behavior, the vast majority of research has not assessed menthol as an independent factor. The objective of this review is to assess the effects, if any, that use of menthol cigarettes has on smoking cessation success in adults and youth. A total of 20 articles are included in this review. Although some studies have found that menthol smokers have less success in quitting smoking, others fail to find significant differences between menthol and non-menthol smokers. Some clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of various cessation treatments have suggested that menthol smokers have poorer outcomes, however two secondary data analysis studies (which used the same original dataset) failed to find any difference in success rate associated with particular treatments. Although there is some suggestion that smoking menthol cigarettes is associated with worse cessation outcomes, differences are not always found. However, if there was a difference, it was always in the direction of worse outcomes for menthol smokers. Given that Black/African American smokers prefer menthol cigarettes more than White smokers, possible interactions with race/ethnicity are discussed.