Menthol is a substance naturally found in mint plants such as peppermint and spearmint that gives a cooling sensation. It is an additive in cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, smokeless tobacco products, and tobacco rolling paper. Brands marketed as menthol cigarettes have enough menthol added to describe them as having a menthol flavor. However, brands not labeled as menthol may contain low levels of it as well.

The tobacco industry has marketed menthol cigarettes as being a “healthier” and “safer” cigarette, emphasizing its cool and refreshing taste. In reality, menthol reduces the harshness of cigarette smoke, which makes it easier to smoke especially for children and teens.

Many people choose menthol cigarettes because they believe menthol cigarettes are safer than non menthol cigarettes. However, no evidence exists indicating that menthol cigarettes are safer. All cigarette smoking is linked to many cancers and other diseases. No tobacco product is safe. Learn more about the health effects of menthol cigarettes.

Read the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration is seeking public input on menthol in cigarettes.

Read a Q&A about menthol.

California law would ban filtered cigarettes –

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