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Real-Time Measurements and Uptake of Carcinogens by Menthol Cigarette Smokers

Principal Investigator: Stephanie Buehler

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 5R01CA162085-02

Award Date: 8/1/2012

Institution: Battelle Centers

Menthol, the only cigarette additive that is actively marketed by manufacturers, is particularly favored by youth and racial/ethnic minorities. Growing evidence suggests that menthol cigarettes are starter products for youth, impede smoking cessation, increase relapse following cessation, and foster racial health disparities via incessant targeted marketing to communities of color. Because cigarettes are so highly engineered, there are many differences between menthol and non-menthol cigarettes other than menthol levels, making it difficult to definitively link menthol to increased risk of tobacco-related diseases. To adequately study the effect of mentholation, the investigators are evaluating the acute effects of smoking cigarettes that are equivalent except for menthol level. Study aims are: (1) to fully characterize a set of four test cigarettes: a commercial non-menthol cigarette that investigators mentholate at one level (with menthol distributed between the tobacco, filter, and paper), and Camel Crush, with the embedded pellet crushed and uncrushed (in which menthol is generated in the filter); (2) to determine whether cigarette mentholation influences size-fractionated particle deposition and uptake of semi-volatile and volatile toxins/carcinogens (based on real-time human toxicity measurements taken following the use of the test cigarettes by 72 established smokers over two separate data collection periods, one week apart); and (3) to use human-generated smoking topography data to compare subject-specific smoke emissions produced by machine-smoking of the test cigarettes. This study offers a model for testing cigarette products. 

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