Editor’s Note: The following commentary by Geoffrey C. Kabat, Ph.D., a cancer epidemiologist at the at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, concludes that “our study indicates that smoking mentholated cigarettes does not appear to influence risk over and above the effect of smoking per se.”
By Geoffrey C. Kabat
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently considering whether to ban the use of menthol as an additive to cigarettes. Mentholated cigarettes account for roughly 30 percent of cigarettes sold in the United States, and they are favored by African-American smokers by roughly a threefold margin compared to white smokers. They are also favored by women smokers. A major aspect of the FDA charge is to determine whether use of mentholated cigarettes is more harmful than use of non-mentholated cigarettes.