UW-Madison research on menthol cigarettes will inform federal policyThe University of Wisconsin-Madison is doing research that could help the Food and Drug Administration decide whether to ban menthol cigarettes.
By: Shamane Mills, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is doing research that could help the Food and Drug Administration decide whether to ban menthol cigarettes.
The UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention has a $368,000 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes to study menthol cigarettes. Their findings will be part of a larger effort by the FDA as it considers regulating menthol cigarettes. In the United States, 30 percent of the cigarette market is menthols. Dr. Michael Fiore of the UW Center for Tobacco Research says there's some indication that menthol smokers have more trouble quitting. They hope to find out why.
Three quarters of African-Americans who smoke use menthol; only one quarter of whites do.
“We want to get to the bottom of it and see if part of the reason that African-Americans smoke and continue to smoke is because of the menthol issue,” says Fiore.
Menthols are also favored by younger smokers. Later this year the FDA will launch a public education campaign aimed at youth.