U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Tobacco Products
  3. Tobacco Science & Research
  4. Research
  5. Yale TCORS: Menthol’s Effects on the Nicotine Reinforcement in Smokers
  1. Tobacco Science & Research

Yale TCORS: Menthol’s Effects on the Nicotine Reinforcement in Smokers

Yale TCORS: Menthol’s Effects on the Nicotine Reinforcement in Smokers

Principal Investigator: Mehmet Sofouglu

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50DA036151-01

Award Date: 9/30/2013

Institution: Yale University


Menthol is an additive in the majority of cigarettes, although at widely different concentrations. Research suggests that menthol may facilitate addiction dependence and maintenance when combined with nicotine. However, the potential reinforcing properties of menthol have not been examined with systematic studies in controlled settings, and human studies examining the reinforcing effects of menthol in combination with nicotine are lacking. This study is designed to test one overarching specific aim: to determine if menthol administered by inhalation via e-cigarettes or orally via sublingual tablet changes the reinforcing effects of pure nicotine administered intravenously in cigarette smokers who smoke mentholated or non-mentholated cigarettes. Exploratory aims include: (1) to determine if menthol's reinforcing effects are dose dependent; and (2) to determine if inhaled or sublingual menthol changes the cardiovascular, cognitive, and withdrawal suppressing effects of intravenous nicotine; and to determine if sublingual or inhaled menthol will be reinforcing by itself. In two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (one using e-cigarettes and one using a menthol sublingual tablet), investigators will enroll 160 young adult smokers (aged 18-30) stratified for menthol preference; nicotine will be delivered intravenously, and menthol will be delivered via inhalation and sublingual routes.  For both studies, the main outcome measure will be subjective drug effects, which will be measured using the Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ). Determining the reinforcing effects of menthol in combination with nicotine in this study will contribute to the knowledge needed to inform science-based policies regarding additives in tobacco products.


Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) Related Resources