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Menthol levels in cigarettes from eight manufacturers
  1. Jiu Ai1,
  2. Kenneth M Taylor1,
  3. Joseph G Lisko2,
  4. Hang Tran2,
  5. Clifford H Watson2,
  6. Matthew R Holman1
  1. 1 Office of Science, Center for Tobacco Products, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  2. 2 Tobacco Products Laboratory, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kenneth M Taylor, Office of Science, Center for Tobacco Products, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA; kenneth.taylor{at}

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Menthol-labelled cigarettes accounted for almost one-third of the US cigarette market in 2012.1 Menthol may be present in cigarettes not labelled to contain menthol, either by intentional addition in small quantities,2 as a contaminant in the manufacturing facilities which were used for menthol cigarettes production,3 or as a naturally occurring constituent in tobacco.4 We previously examined menthol amounts in 46 commercial cigarettes. The amount of menthol measured in the whole cigarettes ranged from 2.9 to 19.6 mg/cigarette for menthol-flavoured cigarettes and from 0.002 to 0.07 mg/cigarette for cigarettes without a detectable menthol flavour.5 In an effort to understand how menthol may be used by various cigarette manufacturers, here we present the repeated and additional measurements of menthol quantities in the cigarette rods, cigarette filters and whole cigarettes of these 46 cigarettes from the following manufacturers: Commonwealth Brands, Liggett Group, Lorillard Tobacco, Philip Morris USA, RJ Reynolds Tobacco, British American Tobacco and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco (SFNTC) and compare them with University of Kentucky reference cigarettes. SFNTC Company is a subsidiary of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company and the University of Kentucky only makes reference cigarettes which are not for commercial consumption. Instead of examining the menthol levels of different cigarette brands,5 we consider …

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  • Funding This project was funded by the Center for Tobacco Products of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  • Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not represent FDA or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention positions or policies.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. Owing to a scripting error, some of the publisher names in the references were replaced with ’BMJ Publishing Group'. This only affected the full text version, not the PDF. We have since corrected these errors and the correct publishers have been inserted into the references.