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Note to new smokers: Menthol cigarettes only seem more benign

December 3, 2009 |  2:35 pm

Butts New smokers like menthol. A new study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration offers some data on just how much they like it.

Not only is use of menthol cigarettes more common among novice smokers than among well-practiced smokers (44.6% compared with 31.8%), use of the cigarettes has risen from 31% in 2004 to 33.9% in 2008.

Menthol is a mint-like additive that feels soothing. One can see the appeal to those -- adolescents, perhaps -- not used to deliberately dragging smoke into their lungs. But cigarette smoke is still cigarette smoke.

Here's the full report. And here's an earlier story on the Food and Drug Administration's recent ban of cigarettes with fruit, candy or clove -- but not menthol -- flavors.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo credit: Daniel Acker / Bloomberg