Addicted to Cool: Menthol Cigarettes Are Harder to Quit

Is the minty freshness of menthol cigarettes more addicting than regular cigarettes?

Stay tuned for the lawsuit, folks.

From CBC News: Menthol and regular cigarettes appear to be equally harmful to the cardiovascular system and lungs, but smokers of menthols may have a harder time butting out for good, new research suggests.

In a study that followed more than 1,500 smokers over 15 years, U.S. researchers found that those who smoked menthol cigarettes in 1985 were more likely to still be smoking in 2000: almost 70 per cent of those whose tobacco of choice was menthol were still smoking compared with about 55 per cent of those who chose regular cigarettes.

The authors found that smoking menthols was associated with “a lower likelihood of trying to quit in the first place.”

The reason why is totally gross. Researchers think menthol “anesthesizes nerve endings in the throat and air passages, smokers may inhale deeper and be able to tolerate more cigarettes.” That’s disgusting, but not as disgusting as those “look at all the fat in this dead aorta” commercials that we non-smokers are forced to watch. Those commercials are a mental health hazard. Yuck

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  1. Plaid Rabbit says:

    Well, then. Guess I’m good an fucked as far as quiting goes.

    Seriously, though, thanks. This is really interesting.

  2. VA_White says:

    I smoked menthols for twelve years and it took three attempts to finally quit. I’ve been smoke-free for over five years now.

    Quitting is hard, no matter what you’re smoking and now I’m even more proud of myself that I did it. I ended up doing a triple-whammy of Zyban, nicotine patches, and smoking cessation classes.

    If you really want to quit, keep trying. It’s worth it.

  3. FLConsumer says:

    Considering the medicinal uses of menthols, this doesn’t surprise me in the least. Now what we need is for the tobacco co’s to make cigarettes smell somewhat decent, then us non-smokers won’t have to put up with that nasty cigarette smell.

  4. Seriously- anyone who smokes that wants to quit, please try reading the book “The Easy Way to Quit Smoking” by Allen Karr. Me, my girlfriend, and 5 of our friends have all used it successfully. It sounds cheesy, I know, but it I am now going 4 months strong with no desire to take up smoking again, and I was a pack a day for 7 years or so. I tried the patch, cold turkey to no avail. But this works. Seriously. It’s very cheap. Try it.

  5. benko29 says:

    Dr. Paul is right. Allan Carr’s Easyway really works. I read it all in one night, took me about 6 hours or so, but once I got into reading it, I could really see where it was taking me, so I just kept reading until I was through it. It really does totally change your attitude on smoking, and is written in a very friendly manner. Oh, and it’s free in pdf format.

  6. RogueSophist says:

    Here’s another theory for the findings. Many smokers “step up” to menthols only after several years of smoking regular cigs. It might stand to reason that seasoned smokers are less likely to quit, and less likely to even consider it.

  7. This post just made me get a craving for a clove cigarette. Haven’t smoke one in years. Odd.

  8. Celeste says:

    Heh. Bon Jour, Pee Wee – I was just thinking the same thing. I think it was “anesthesizes nerve endings in the throat and air passages” that tipped me off. Those lovely Djarum Specials… they were the only thing I could smoke if I had a sore throat.

  9. moejuda says:

    I loved the Djarums. They got me hooked as a teen. Stopped smoking some time ago, but if I were to have another it would be a clove.

  10. Bought a pack on the way home last night. My body reminded me why I don’t smoke them anymore. It reminded me of the one time I smoked too many, and became violently nauseated. Blegh.