In addition, the documents supplied during the trial of the tobacco industry mention specific effects of menthol in cigarettes: A cooling, anaesthetic function lessens the sensation of drawing hot gases into the mouth and lungs, while the mintlike flavor of the compound improves the perceived taste and lessens the impact of nicotine's bitter flavor and scent. In a form of tradeoff, however, the menthol is also a source of increased oral and respiratory irritation, though this is somewhat masked by the aforementioned anaesthetic effect (G. Ferris Wayne, Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program, "Application, function, and effects of menthol in cigarettes: a survey of tobacco industry documents", 2004 February).
With regard to racial preferences, Hymowitz' 1995 study at the New Jersey Medical School (Menthol cigarette smoking in African Americans and whites) found that, of 473 cigarette smokers participating in a cessation program:
Since the term "cool" was often used in the African-American community in the 60s, some have argued that the brand KOOL cigarettes is an example of targeted marketing through cultural appropriation. In 2004 over 70% of African American smokers preferred menthol cigarettes, compared with 30% of white smokers. This unique social phenomenon was principally occasioned by the tobacco industry's manipulation of the burgeoning black, urban, segregated, consumer market in cities at that time.
Although the use of menthol in ointments and cough drops is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States of America, regulation of cigarettes was removed from their purview in 2000 by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling for the Brown & Williamson Tobacco and Company.
Menthol Cigarette Use Rising among Young Smokers; Kids May Mistakenly Believe Mentholated Cigarettes Are Safer, Researchers Say
Sep 06, 2013; FRIDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A growing number of young adults in the United States are smoking menthol cigarettes, a large...