Menthol in Cigarettes.

Why do they put menthol in cigarettes? What is the logic behind this?

Thank you in advance to all who reply :slight_smile:

Probably for the same reason they make apple, orange, and grape cigars. The flavorings make them “easier” to smoke.

It’s really hard to say this in a way that doesn’t sound racist, but what I’ve always wondered about is the rift between myself and my white friends (who all prefer regular smokes) and my black friends (who all prefer Newports or Kools). Dave Chapelle asked that question in his skit “Who Knows Black People”, with the correct answer being “I don’t know…nobody knows.” It was one of those things that was hilarious to us because it was so true.

It provides a faster trip to “Flavor Country” :smiley:

I used to smoke menthols and it definetely was a different taste and feeling, as compared to regular ones. The mintyness was a good thing.

Then I switched to regulars and the menthol made me gag. Then I quit and now every cigarette makes me gag.

A girl I used to know would switch from Marlboros to Kools when she had a cold. Seriously.

You’re lucky. Every time I quit, every cigarette tastes like manna from heaven.

What’s wrong with that? Makes perfect sense to me. I do it, so do my friends. They’re easier on the throat (menthols, not my friends).

This is just my outsider’s perspective (I’ve never been a smoker but have had several immediate family members who did), but I think vetbridge might be shaking his head at the idea of switching cigarettes as cold relief as opposed to, say, quitting entirely.

BINGO!! Thanks, OneCentStamp.

Ah, you must say that as a never-smoker. Ex-smokers know that once those cillia start waking up as you quit, you hack up tons of icky mucous. It makes it even worse if you have a chest cold at the same time. Nicotine actually acts as a cough suppressant in a smoker, by temporarily paralyzing the cillia in the bronchus. The menthol opens things up just like Vicks Vapo-rub and numbs a sore throat to boot.

BlakeTyner, I’ve noticed the same racial divide on the menthol/not issue. With one odd exception: the only white folks I know who smoke menthols when they’re not sick live in trailers.

Are menthols marketed at lower income brackets?

I live in a nice suburban home, thank you. Camel Turkish Jade.

I smoked More menthols for years. I have an MA and taught in a University at the time. Not a trailer park. Hmm. I’m white too.

You’re welcome. I don’t know you. But thanks for the data point.

I’m sorry, that sounded snarky, and I didn’t mean it that way. I shouldn’t have posted while the baby was yelling for me.

I MEANT to say that I wasn’t trying to make a blanket statement about anyone other than, as I said, people I know.

I did find this cite that 75% of blacks prefer menthol and only 25% of whites. I also found this interesting claim: “Menthol cigarettes were first marketed as being good for a cold or flu, as health concerns grew over cigarette smoking.” (here).

But I can’t find specific information about whether or not menthol advertising is aimed at lower income whites. It is widely claimed that menthol advertising is aimed at African Americans and Hispanics.

Another whitey homeowning menthol smoking woman checking in :dubious:

Much more flavorful. The first time I ever smoked a cigarette, it was a Newport. (yes the stereotype is true, they are overwhelmingly consumed by black people - I happened to get it from a black friend. I’m white, however)

After that, I tried regular cigarettes, but they just didn’t taste like anything.

A curious sidenote - when I was a teenager, kids loved to say that if you smoke menthols, the menthol crystallizes in your lungs and makes them twice as harmful to your health as regular cigs. I’ve never heard this mentioned by anyone with real credibility, and the Dope happens to be the perfect place to ask - is there any shred of truth to this?

This doesn’t address the crystallization rumor, but there’s plenty of info on other menthol urban legends at Snopes.

Personally, I no longer smoke, but I’ve always despised menthols. Wouldn’t smoke them even if I had a serious nicotine fit. Interestingly enough, according to that Snopes article, while a majority of black smokers prefer menthols, 75% of menthols are smoked by whites.

I’ve been a white guy all my life and when I smoked, I started with Salem. Then I went to Bel Air, and smoked them until I switched to Benson & Hedges. Although I’m a social smoker now, I’ll still prefer to bum a menthol. :wink:

Why do they put menthol in cigarettes? Taste is one reason. Also, it’s a heart stimulant, it increases the ‘Buzz’ by a small degree. Menthol smokers are freebasing peppermint.

There is a store near where I work at which I tried to buy a pack of the Kools I have smoked for almost 30 years. I was told they don’t carry Kools “so the blacks don’t come in”. The perception is definitely there.

I started on Pall Malls, and after some experimentation, settled on menthols, partly because I liked the taste of them after getting high. I still like the taste. Perhaps if I switched back to Pall Malls it would be easier for me to quit. :stuck_out_tongue: