Shorter time to first cigarette of the day in menthol adolescent cigarette smokers

Addict Behav. 2006 Aug;31(8):1460-4. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.10.001. Epub 2005 Nov 21.


Menthol smoking is thought to contribute to the addictiveness of smoking. Given the high prevalence of menthol smoking among youth, the aim of the current analysis was to examine differences in consumption and tobacco dependence, including smoking urgency among menthol and non-menthol adolescent smokers. Data for the current analysis were collected from telephone interviews with adolescent smokers applying to a cessation treatment study. Of 572 adolescent smokers (mean age=15.6+/-1.6 years; 55.1% female; 46.9% African American, 48.2% European American), 531 smoked menthol cigarettes and 41 smoked non-menthol as their usual brand. Analysis using Fisher's Exact (one-tailed) Test revealed that menthol smokers had a significantly shorter time to first (TTF) cigarette of the day compared to non-menthol smokers (smoking within the first 5 min of the day, 45% vs. 29%, respectively; p<0.04). Independent t tests revealed no significant difference in number of cigarettes per day (CPD) (mean=12.2+/-8.5 vs. 11.4+/-8.8; p<0.28) or Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) scores (3.4+/-1.4 vs. 3.2+/-1.3; p<0.23). While preliminary, our findings suggest greater smoking urgency among menthol compared to non-menthol adolescent cessation-treatment seekers. Further study in a broader sample of adolescent smokers is warranted to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effects of menthol smoking for youths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Behavior, Addictive / physiopathology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menthol / administration & dosage*
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Smoking*
  • Time Factors


  • Menthol
  • Nicotine