Menthol vs nonmenthol cigarettes: effects on smoking behavior

Am J Public Health. 1995 Jan;85(1):67-72. doi: 10.2105/ajph.85.1.67.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine intraindividual differences in smoking behavior between smoking regular and mentholated cigarettes.

Methods: Healthy male smokers (n = 29) smoked either a regular or a mentholated cigarette in two separate sessions 1 week apart. Commercial brands with comparable tar, nicotine, and CO content were used. Smoking behavior was constrained by fixed 15-second interpuff intervals, but puff volume and number of puffs were unconstrained.

Results: When smoking the non-mentholated brand of cigarettes, participants smoked 22% more puffs and had 13% higher mean volumes per puff than they did when smoking the mentholated brand of cigarettes. The aggregate 39% excess exposure to cigarette smoke in the regular-cigarette condition was not accompanied by commensurate excesses in expired carbon monoxide or in physiological measures normally correlated with nicotine exposure.

Conclusions: These findings parallel differences in physiological correlates of exposure to nicotine found in cross-sectional comparisons of African-American and White smokers and are consistent with the results of emerging laboratory investigations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menthol
  • Smoking*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data


  • Menthol