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In April 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to issue regulations banning menthol as a characterising flavour in cigarettes within a year.1 This proposal stemmed from decades of research highlighting the role of menthol cigarettes in promoting initiation, facilitating nicotine dependence and reducing cessation success, particularly in non-white people who smoke cigarettes.2 3 Prior studies have documented the growth of menthol’s market share in the context of dramatic reductions in cigarette consumption.4 5
A recent product feature in menthol cigarettes is the flavour capsule which allows consumers to crush a liquid-filled capsule in the filter, creating a unique menthol sensory experience.6 Sales of cigarettes with flavour capsules are growing in the USA and globally, and have high appeal among young people.6 Indeed, tobacco industry documents indicate that the target audience for ‘Camel Crush’—the first menthol flavour capsule cigarette brand in the US market—were millennials.7 This study updates previous estimates of menthol and non-menthol cigarette …
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Contributors CDD conceptualised the work, compiled the data and conducted the analyses. CDD, DPG and ACV interpreted the data, drafted the manuscript and provided critical revisions of the manuscript.
Funding CDD, ACV and DPG were supported by Tobacco Centres of Regulatory Science (award U54CA229973) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). DPG was also supported by the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health (DP5OD023064).
Disclaimer The content of this report is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the US FDA. The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.