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Smoking and Tobacco

Do Menthol Cigarettes Contain Fiberglass?

08/11/2000

Question:

Do menthol cigarettes contain fiberglass?

Answer:

A speaker at the 11th World Conference on Tobacco or Health which was held in Chicago August 6 - 11, 2000, addressed this very question. She commented that 20 to 30 years ago there was an "urban legend" about a particular brand of menthol cigarettes in the African American community. At that time, it was the most popular menthol cigarette brand and the information spread in the community was that it contained fiberglass. As a result, people stopped purchasing that brand of cigarettes and now a different menthol cigarette is the largest seller. There was, however, no evidence that menthol cigarettes contained fiberglass. However, menthol cigarettes have been associated with several properties that are of concern. One is that menthol stimulates receptors in the throat that create a cool sensation. As a result, persons may not find cigarette smoke as irritating and thus inhale larger amounts with each puff. (Ahijevych et al, Addictive Behaviors, 1999). In addition, menthol may lead to faster absorption of cigarette smoke and increased exposure to the many components of cigarette smoke. There are no safe cigarettes, and it is important that all cigarette smokers quit smoking and reduce their risks of tobacco-related disease.

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Response by:

Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emeritus
College of Public Health
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University