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Menthol Levels in Cigarettes

Principal Investigator: Cliff Watson / Kenneth Taylor

Funding Mechanism: Interagency Agreement

ID number: 224-11-9022

Award Date: 7/25/2013

Institution: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

FDA is interested in understanding the use of menthol in cigarettes that are marketed to United States consumers. Menthol is a common chemical additive in cigarettes, cigarette packaging material, and cigarette filters. Its analgesic and non-irritating properties impart a distinctive cooling flavor and reduce smoke harshness. The amount of menthol added to cigarettes has been previously reported to vary from approximately 1 to 5 milligrams per gram of tobacco filler among various products1. However, available studies appear to precede the Tobacco Control Act of 2009; thus, studies are needed to evaluate the use of menthol in currently available commercial cigarette brands. This collaborative project with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examines menthol quantities in randomly selected brands of mentholated and non-mentholated cigarettes. This market survey is intended to enable FDA to evaluate the use of menthol in cigarettes and related potential health consequences.

1 Hopp, R. 1993, Menthol: its origins, chemistry, physiology and toxicological properties. Recent Advances in Tobacco Science, 19, 3-46.

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