What are Menthol Cigarettes?
Menthol chemical is present in the mint plant. However, due to its wonderful flavor and refreshing appeal, many consumer industries make chemicals in laboratories to enhance the flavor of their consumables. Similarly, it is extremely popular in the tobacco industry. Lloyd Spud Hughes invented menthol cigarettes in 1925. Since then, the flavor has become intensely popular amongst the masses. In the 1950s and 1960s, menthol cigarettes were promoted as highly desirable and trendy tobacco products. Although most cigarette brands have menthol as an ingredient, some of them have a higher constitution of it. Due to its smoking-friendly nature, people like to consume menthol cigarettes. Particularly, young people consume menthol cigarettes the most. While cigarette smoking has considerably decreased over the years, menthol cigarette has been the strongest segment of the tobacco industry.
Why do Tobacco companies add Menthol to Cigarettes?
Menthol has a soothing flavor and aroma. Not only does it taste good, but it also has an analgesic effect. It numbs the cough reflexes in our body. It also alleviates the dry throat problem that smokers normally face. Menthol registers positive messages in the brain about smoking, making it appear less harmful. Smokers feel it easier to inhale menthol cigarettes as it spreads a cooling sensation across the throat and airways.
For all these reasons, tobacco companies add menthol to cigarettes to make them appear more attractive. They camouflage the negative impact of smoking. Some companies even increase the quantity of nicotine in menthol cigarettes so that the consumer becomes even more addicted. People who smoke cigarettes for the first time mostly opt for menthol cigarettes because it significantly reduces the harshness of smoking.
Impact of Menthol Cigarettes in Smoking: –
Menthol cigarettes make smoking appear less harmful. That is why it has extremely undesirable consequences.
The concentration of menthol cigarettes: –
Menthol cigarettes are mostly popular among certain demographic groups. These include young, low-income, African, Hispanic, and Asian groups. Menthol cigarette companies target these segments in their marketing efforts. Consequently, there is a considerable health disparity between these groups and their counterparts.
Menthol cigarettes smokers find it difficult to quit:-
Since most of the young people who start smoking for the first time begin with menthol cigarettes, their attachment to the flavor is quite unwavering. That is why they find it difficult to quit smoking. Moreover, menthol cigarettes remove the difficulties associated with smoking cigarettes. That is why menthol smokers find it hard to quit menthol cigarettes.
Menthol cigarette smokers have greater consumption: –
Research supports that menthol cigarettes have a greater smoking frequency. Since menthol cigarettes are easier to smoke and inhale, their consumers smoke a higher number of cigarettes in a day. Their overtime intake of harmful substances such as nicotine, tar, and other toxins is considerably higher than other counterparts.
Menthol cigarettes hurt health: –
While all tobacco products are unhealthy, menthol cigarettes have especially harmful health implications. They alter the biochemical profile of cigarettes to increase nicotine dependence. Their ability to hinder smoke discomfort and odor makes them penetrate deeper into the lungs. Also, they stay in the lungs for a longer duration, causing damage to the organs. All these factors increase nicotine absorption in a puff. They contribute to health issues such as respiratory ailments, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and reproductive disorders. Increased dependence on menthol cigarettes lowers the consumer’s stamina and productive potential. Research studies indicate that menthol smokers exhibit greater signs of anxiety and depression. There is a strong correlation between menthol smoking and psychiatric hospitalization.
How to Quit Menthol Cigarettes?
Menthol smokers struggle more than others to quit smoking. It is better to stage the effort gradually so that it does not take a toll on the consumer. For instance, the consumer may begin by switching to non-menthol smoking initially. He may smoke non-menthol flavors for two or three days a week initially. Then he may decrease his dependence on menthol cigarettes gradually. Professional help through counselors and medication is also a sustainable method to quit menthol smoking.
While social and healthcare organizations around the world have been pushing the health regulatory authorities to consider the impact of menthol cigarettes on smoking, it took them a long time to realize it. Now regulatory authorities are effectively considering the ban on the promotion of menthol cigarettes as refreshing and appealing flavors. There is enough data to support the premise that young people are especially dependent on menthol cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes are a primary reason why children aged as young as eleven or twelve years old begin to smoke. Hence many social and health organizations propose banning menthol as a flavor in cigarettes. Such positive efforts shall bring a substantial improvement in health statistics of different community and racial groups who have an increased consumption of menthol cigarettes.