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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A menthol cigarette is a cigarette flavored with the compound menthol, a substance which triggers the cold-sensitive nerves in the skin without actually providing a drop in temperature.

Menthol cigarettes have also been shown to inhibit nicotine metabolism, causing "systemic enhancement in exposure to nicotine"[1].

Contents

Origins

First developed as the Spud Brand menthol cigarette in 1924, the idea didn't become popular until the Axton-Fisher Tobacco Company acquired the patent in 1927, marketing them nationwide as "Spud Menthol Cooled Cigarettes". Even then, it remained the only menthol cigarette on the market until the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company created the Kool brand in 1933. Not coincidentally, this was one year after Spud became one of the top five best-selling cigarette brands. R.J. Reynolds Company launched the first menthol filter-tip cigarettes in 1950 under the Salem brand. Other brands include Newport (#1 menthol in the U.S.), Marlboro Menthol, American Spirits Menthol, Misty, Consulate, and Camel Menthol. In the UK Lambert & Butler, JPS, Superkings.

Economics and regulation

According to the Federal Trade Commission's Cigarette Report for 2002, the latest available through their ftc.gov website, menthol cigarettes constitute 27% of the American market,[2] up from a four-year stagnation at 26%.[citation needed] Additionally, menthol cigarettes are purchased disproportionately by black smokers, with 80% of black smokers using menthol cigarettes primarily.[3][4]

Although the use of menthol in ointments and cough drops is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States of America, regulation of cigarettes was removed from their purview in 2000 by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling, FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. In Oct 2009 the United States enacted a smoking ordinance.

In June 2009, President Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, explicitly exempting menthol-flavored cigarette from restrictions applied to other flavorings.[5]

References

  1. ^ http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/310/3/1208
  2. ^ "Up in Smoke: How the Tobacco Industry Shaped the New Smoking Bill". Democracy Now!. 2009-07-03. http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/2/up_in_smoke_how_the_tobacco. 
  3. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-09-27-menthol-cigarettes_N.htm
  4. ^ "Harvard Researchers Gather More Evidence Implicating Menthol in Health Disparities Between White and Black Smokers". http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/archives/2005-releases/press08182005.html. 
  5. ^ Kevin W. Tschirhart (June 26, 2009). "What’s the Congressional Black Caucus Smoking?". The D.C. Writeup. http://www.thedcwriteup.com/2009/06/whats-the-congressional-black-caucus-smoking/. 

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