Menthol Cigarettes Make It Harder To Quit - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Menthol Cigarettes Make It Harder To Quit

Dr. Jim Luce, Tobacco Fee Amarillo Board Member Dr. Jim Luce, Tobacco Fee Amarillo Board Member

Cigarettes that include the ingredient menthol are more likely to hook smokers, especially those under 18.

We're told 35% of Panhandle high school students are smokers and most are smoking menthol cigarettes.

Dr. Jim Luce who is also on the board for Tobacco Fee Amarillo says menthol, usually found in "light" or slim" cigarettes, masks the harshness of cigarette smoke and makes it easier to inhale.

He says, "It stimulates the cool fibers so the smoke feels cool as it goes down and it's easier to smoke when there is menthol in the cigarette because its much more comfortable."

The comfort of the menthol also allows the smoker to absorb more nicotine because the smoker will likely inhale more deeply than with a non-menthol cigarette.

Dr. Luce says, "It causes the individual to hold the tobacco longer in their lungs and as a result you get higher levels of nicotine in the blood and high presumably levels of all other chemicals. It's much harder for menthol smokers than non-menthol smokers to stop."

And he says the higher nicotine levels increase the likelihood young smokers will remain smokers throughout their lives.

At the next week's Tobacco Free Amarillo meeting Dr. Luce says he will address menthol cigarettes and push for education in our schools.

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