Articles |

Effect of Menthol Cigarettes on Biochemical Markers of Smoke Exposure Among Black and White Smokers FREE TO VIEW

Pamela I. Clark; Shiva Gautam; Lowell W. Gerson
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Cardiology, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa; and the Division of Community Health Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown

1996 by the American College of Chest Physicians

Chest. 1996;110(5):1194-1198. doi:10.1378/chest.110.5.1194
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Study objectives: Black smokers have been reported to have higher serum cotinine levels than do white smokers, and have higher rates of most smoking-related diseases, despite smoking fewer cigarettes per day. Another striking racial difference is the preference for mentholated cigarettes among black smokers. The contribution of menthol to variability in biochemical markers of cigarette smoke exposure (end-expiratory carbon monoxide and serum cotinine) was evaluated in a biracial sample.

Design: Descriptive cross-sectional.

Setting: A university smoking research laboratory.

Participants: Sixty-five black and 96 white adult established smokers who were paid for their participation.

Measurements: Information was obtained through direct observation, self-report (interview and self-administered questionnaires), measurement of butts collected for a week, and laboratory analyses of the biochemical markers of exposure.

Results: Compared with the white smokers, the black smokers had significantly higher cotinine and carbon monoxide levels per cigarette smoked and per millimeter of smoked tobacco rod (both p<0.001). After adjusting for race, cigarettes per day, and mean amount of each cigarette smoked, menthol was associated with higher cotinine levels (p=0.03) and carbon monoxide concentrations (p=0.02).

Conclusions: The use of menthol may be associated with increased health risks of smoking. Menthol use should be considered when biochemical markers of smoke exposure are used as quantitative measures of smoking intensity or as indicators of compliance with smoking reduction programs. In addition, the effect of menthol on total "dose" should be considered in any efforts to regulate the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.




Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
CHEST Journal Articles
PubMed Articles
Menthol smokers: metabolomic profiling and smoking behavior. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev Published online Sep 14, 2016;
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543