Menthol cigarette smoking and nicotine dependence
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Center for Tobacco Products, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD, USA
Freelance medical writer, Fort Myers, FL, USA
Allison C. Hoffman   

Center for Tobacco Products, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD 20850, USA
Publish date: 2011-05-23
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2011;9(Suppl 1):S5
Since tobacco use is driven by dependence on nicotine, the primary addictive substance in tobacco, much research has focused on nicotine dependence. Less well understood, however, is the role that menthol plays in nicotine dependence. This review seeks to examine what role, if any, menthol plays in nicotine addiction in adults and youth. Based on research examining several indicators of heaviness of nicotine addiction, including time to first cigarette upon waking, night waking to smoke, as well as some other indications of dependence, it is suggested that menthol cigarette smokers are more heavily dependent on nicotine. Although other indicators of nicotine dependence, including number of cigarettes per day and the Fagerstrom Test of Nicotine Dependence, failed to consistently differentiate menthol and non-menthol smokers, these indicators are thought to be less robust than time to first cigarette. Therefore, though limited, the existing literature suggests that menthol smokers may be more dependence on nicotine.
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