NEW YORK (CBS Newspath) — A team at the University of California San Diego has found that menthol cigarettes could cause 12- to 17-year-olds to smoke more frequently and become more dependent on nicotine.

Their research shows that when young people use menthol cigarettes they smoke almost 3 more days a month compared to those who smoke non-menthol cigarettes. teenagers smoking menthols also have an almost 40 percent higher risk of being a frequent smoker and 8 percent higher nicotine dependency.

When young people switched to unflavored cigarettes, they smoked almost 4 days less a month. Their risk of becoming a frequent smoker was cut almost in half and their nicotine dependency rate also dropped.

Researchers looked at one thousand teenagers from 2013 to 2019 and found the number of 12- to 17-year-old cigarette smokers who use menthol has risen to 56 percent.

The goal of the food and drug administration’s ban is to keep menthol cigarettes out of the hands of young people since they are more attracted to flavored cigarettes.


The agency is also trying to address health disparities. About 85 percent of black smokers use menthol cigarettes compared to less than half of Latinos and fewer than a third of white smokers.