Menthol and nonmenthol cigarettes and smoke exposure in black and white women

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1996 Feb;53(2):355-60. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(95)02034-9.


Purposes of this investigation were to compare smoke constituent exposure (CO and nicotine boosts) and smoking topography parameters between black and white women, and between women regularly using menthol or nonmenthol cigarettes. A two-factor factorial design with a sample of 37 women stratified by race and menthol or nonmenthol cigarette use was implemented. There were significant main and interaction effects of race and menthol/nonmenthol use on CO boost. Black women had a mean CO boost of 10.1 ppm vs. 7.2 ppm for white women, while women using nonmenthol cigarettes had a higher CO boost (mean = 10.6 ppm) compared to those regularly using menthol cigarettes mean = 6.5 ppm). White menthol smokers had the lowest CO boost of all subgroups. There was a trend for black women to have higher nicotine boost than white women (21.4 ng/ml vs. 15.9 ng/ml). Black women had nonsignificantly higher puff volumes compared to white women (mean = 48.4 vs. 43.5 ml), while nonmenthol smokers had nonsignificantly higher puff volumes than menthol smokers (mean = 48.5 vs. 42.7 ml). Lower CO boost with mentholated cigarettes suggests factors beyond mentholation may affect elevated smoke constituent exposure among black women.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black People
  • Carbon Monoxide / metabolism
  • Cotinine / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menthol / administration & dosage
  • Menthol / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / blood
  • Nicotine / pharmacokinetics
  • Racial Groups
  • Respiratory Mechanics / drug effects
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • White People


  • Menthol
  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Cotinine