Facts About Menthol
- Menthol is a substance naturally found in mint plants, such as peppermint and spearmint. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)
- Menthol hides the harsh flavor of cigarettes. This makes menthol cigarettes easier for young smokers to start and harder to quit. U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) (2019)
- There is no evidence that cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco products that have menthol are safer than other cigarettes. NIH
- Flavored cigarettes are illegal because they attract younger smokers. However, menthol flavored cigarettes are not illegal. Teens 12-17 smoke more menthol than anyone else. GIOVINO, ET AL. (2015)
- African Americans smoke menthol-flavored cigarettes at nearly 3 times the rates as Whites. NATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN TOBACCO PREVENTION NETWORK (NAATPN)
- For decades, the tobacco industry has heavily marketed menthol cigarettes to African Americans, specifically placing ads in African American magazines and neighborhood stores. LEE, ET AL. (2015)
- Roughly 30% of the market share for cigarettes in the Austin area is menthol. MILLER LOW, ET AL. (2017)
What Can I do?
- Stay informed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working on steps to ban menthol cigarettes and cigars. Learn more by visiting their website.
- Tell others. Share what you learn with family, friends, and leaders. Learn more through NAATPN.
- Quit. Check out the FREE cessation resources in our community.