Menthol cigarettes twice as addictive, study reveals

New research reveals menthol smokers are the butt of the joke

Young people who puff on menthol cigarettes smoke almost twice as much as those on normal cigarettes, a new study has shown.

Scientists found that menthol users smoke an average 43 cigarettes a week – compared to 26 a week for non-menthol smokers.

And those who smoke the minty cigarettes are even three times more likely to continue smoking in the next year than those who don’t.


Menthols are often perceived as less harmful than normal cigarettes because of their milder taste. But now, a new study shows that they could be even more harmful than non-menthols – as they’re twice as addictive as normal cigarettes and rollies.

And it’s thanks to a higher amount of nicotine in each menthol cigarette, according to the study carried out the University of Waterloo in Canada.


The minty taste means young smokers can use up to 43 cigarettes a week, and are more likely to carry on smoking for another year, compared to those who prefer normal cigarettes.

Sunday Azagba, who led the study said: “The appeal of menthol cigarettes among youth stems from the perception that they are less harmful than regular cigarettes.

“There is a growing concern that the high popularity of menthol cigarettes among youth may hinder the recent progress in preventing other young people from smoking because many of them may experiment with menthol rather than unflavoured brands.”


Many students admit becoming hooked on menthols in their teens. Gemma, a first year Bath student, said: “I started smoking menthols when I was a teen because they were milder, and because of that smoked more of them than I could have on normal ones.”

Christina, a second year History student at Nottingham, said: “Before uni I used to smoke rollies because menthols were seen as soft option. Now they’re all I smoke, and I can’t stand the taste of normal cigarettes. I can definitely see how they’re more addictive”


But some are convinced that minty-flavoured cigs are less of a threat than we think, and are reserved for the part-time smoker.

Bryan, a English student at Bristol, said: “Menthol cigarettes are just for social smokers who only really smoke when drunk and don’t really like the taste of cigarettes anyway. As soon as they’ve run out of Malboro Greens they’ll try and scrounge as many from the smoking area as possible.”