Quitting menthols may be a difficult task

By Staff Writer

Individuals who smoke menthol cigarettes may need more substance abuse help than those who smoke regular cigarettes. A recent review of published data on smoking habits indicates that these tobacco products may deliver higher levels of nicotine, making them harder to quit.

This is particularly true of younger and minority smokers. Researchers from Penn State said that these individuals are more affected by price changes in tobacco products. Menthol cigarettes are generally less expensive.

Once they get started smoking menthols, it can be difficult to stop. The researchers found that they deliver higher levels of nicotine, carbon monoxide and cotinine per cigarette, increasing their addictiveness.

Additionally, menthol makes the smoke in cigarettes less harsh, which may make it easier for individuals to smoke more at a time. The researchers said that public health efforts should focus on reducing the rates of menthol smoking among younger minority demographics, who seem to be most affected by the problem.

Menthols account for just 25 percent of overall cigarette sales. However, more than half of teen smokers and 80 percent of African American smokers choose them.