Comparison of regular smokers of menthol and non-menthol cigarettes on smoking profile and exposure
As menthol's cooling effect might affect puffing and smoke inhalation, possible adverse effects of cigarette mentholation have been suggested. Since only few publications in this topic include smoking topography results, we performed a cross-sectional study in regular Caucasien smokers of American blended mentholated and non-mentholated cigarettes (n=64). As it is not possible to find two brands with exactly the same specification (tobacco blend and design) with and without menthol, we selected two brands having similar tar (12 mg ISO) and nicotine (0.7 mg ISO) levels. The purpose was to determine whether these two groups exhibit differences in smoking profile and biomarkers of exposure. The Smoking Topography measurements, measured by Puff Analyser (D-80 Sodim), provided higher values (p<0.05) of average pull volume, average flow rate, total smoking duration and total volume of smoke for smokers of non-menthol cigarettes. No substantive differences in puff number, puff interval and puff duration were found. Smokers of menthol and non-menthol cigarettes exhibit identical levels of biomarkers of exposure (Carboxyhemoglobin and nicotine metabolites measurements). Mouth levels of exposure (calculated using filter tips from natural smoking conditions) were higher for the non-mentholated cigarette groups 56% and 47% for tar and nicotine respectively. We worked out the inhalation index (as a proxy in the estimate of the volume of the smoke in the lung). We confirmed no differences in daily consumption parameters between the two groups excepted in the daily inhaled CO (18.0±1.2 and 14.3±0.9 cig/day for mentholated and non-mentholated cigarettes, respectively).