The May 2011 supplement issue of Tobacco Control is focused on menthol cigarettes. All eight research papers are available open access.
Below are short summaries and links to each research paper.
1. Lee YO, Glantz SA. Menthol: putting the pieces together. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: ii1-ii7.
Information from tobacco industry documents consistently demonstrates that menthol facilitates and increases smoking and reduces quit smoking rates.
2. Anderson SJ, McCandless PM, Klausner K, et al. Tobacco documents research methodology. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: ii8-ii11.
This paper demonstrates the methodology used in researching tobacco documents.
3. Klausner K. Menthol cigarettes and smoking initiation: a tobacco industry perspective. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: ii12-ii19.
Menthol is a prominent design feature used by cigarette manufacturers to attract and retain new, younger smokers who perceive menthol cigarettes as less harsh and easier to smoke.
4. Anderson SJ. Marketing of menthol cigarettes and consumer perceptions: a review of tobacco industry documents. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: ii20-ii28.
Tobacco marketing emphasizing menthol attracts consumers who may not otherwise progress to regular smoking, including young, inexperienced users and those who find ‘regular’ cigarettes undesirable. Such marketing may also appeal to health-concerned smokers who might otherwise quit.
5. Yerger VB. Menthol’s potential effects on nicotine dependence: a tobacco industry perspective. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: ii29-ii36.
The tobacco industry knows that menthol overrides the harsh taste of tobacco and interacts with nicotine to produce tobacco products that are easier to smoke, thereby making it easier to expose smokers, especially those who are new, to the addictive power of nicotine.
6. Yerger VB, McCandless PM. Menthol sensory qualities and smoking topography: a review of tobacco industry documents. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: ii37-ii43.
If menthol in cigarettes was banned, new/experimental smokers might choose not to smoke rather than experience the harshness of tobacco smoke and the irritating qualities of nicotine. Similarly, established menthol smokers might choose to quit if faced with an unpleasant smoking alternative.
7. Salgado MV, Glantz SA. Direct disease-inducing effects of menthol through the eyes of tobacco companies. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: ii44-ii48.
The tobacco industry conducted little research on the potential disease-inducing effects of menthol and did not pursue studies that suggested adverse effects.
8. Anderson SJ. Menthol cigarettes and smoking cessation behaviour: a review of tobacco industry documents. Tobacco Control 2011; 20: ii49-ii56.
Menthol’s cooling and anesthetic effects that mask the short-term negative effects of smoking such as throat pain, burning and cough and the perception that menthol cigarettes are more socially acceptable provide a false assurance that would otherwise motivate smokers to quit.