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Differences in Inflammation, Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Respiratory Health with Use of Menthol Cigarettes: Informing the Regulation of Tobacco Flavorings to Protect Public Health

Principal Investigator(s): Miranda Jones

Funding Mechanism: NIH Grant

ID number: 1R03HL147318-01

Award Date: May 21, 2019

Institution: Johns Hopkins University


There is limited information regarding potential differences in cardiovascular risk factors or respiratory health with menthol cigarette use. The goal of this project is to evaluate differences in systemic inflammation, cardiovascular risk factors, and respiratory health with use of menthol cigarettes among US smokers. Researchers will use interview, physical examination, and biological specimen data from 9,880 adult current smokers who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a series of nationally-representative surveys of the US population, from 1999 through 2016. Study aims are to evaluate the associations between menthol compared to nonmenthol cigarette use by analyzing: (1) markers of systemic inflammation (C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, white blood cell count, and homocysteine); (2) cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, and reduced kidney function); and (3) respiratory health outcomes (fractional exhaled nitric oxide levels, spirometry-defined pulmonary impairment, past year wheeze, and frequent cough and frequent phlegm). Findings may inform regulatory activities related to menthol cigarettes.