Menthol cigarettes and risk of lung cancer

Daniel R. Brooks, Julie R. Palmer, Brian L. Strom, Lynn Rosenberg

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76 Scopus citations


The authors analyzed data from a multihospital case-control study in the eastern United States to evaluate the hypothesis that smoking menthol cigarettes increases lung cancer risk compared with smoking nonmenthol cigarettes. Subjects included cases with lung cancer and controls admitted for conditions unrelated to smoking who were aged 40-74 years, were interviewed from 1981 to 2000, and had smoked for ≥20 years. Information was available on the brand and type of cigarette smoked most recently and for the longest time. Analyses were based on 643 cases and 4,110 controls for whom brand information was available for >60% of the total duration of smoking. Logistic regression was used to estimate the relative risk of lung cancer according to number of years of menthol cigarette use (>15, 1-15, 0), adjusting for demographic and smoking-related factors. The lung cancer risk for long-term smokers of menthol cigarettes was similar to that for smokers of nonmenthol cigarettes (odds ratio = 0.97, 95% confidence interval: 0.70, 1.34). Odds ratios were also close to 1.0 in separate analyses of male, female, Black, and White subjects. The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that smoking menthol cigarettes increases the risk of lung cancer relative to smoking nonmenthol cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology


  • Blacks
  • Case-control studies
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Menthol
  • Smoking
  • Whites

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