Menthol’s cooling sensation makes smoking more appealing for kids

Menthol receptors are also activated by cold, which explains the icy-cool sensation of mint.

FDA Weighs Restrictions, Possible Ban On Menthol Cigarettes
December 31, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration is considering restricting or even possibly banning menthol cigarettes.
Public health advocates are pushing for this, saying menthol makes cigarettes more addictive and makes it easier for young people to start smoking.

menthol makes smoking much more appealing for kids: the experience of the cigarette can be very harsh on the throat, but menthol* anesthetizes the throat

* Menthol is a highly lipid-soluble cyclic terpene alcohol, derived from naturally occurring plant oils or prepared synthetically.
Menthol is a counterirritant that, by induction of a cool sensation, “crowds out” the sensation of itch.
The cooling sensation may be the result of a direct interaction of menthol with cold receptors and/or nerve fibers.
Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2012.


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