The original Newport had a white filter and a hint of mint both were gone in 1969 and thus the white filter was replaced by a standard filter. The Newport Classic full flavor cigarettes were promoted for many years as a cigarette that allows you to “Enjoy a full flavor menthol, without drowning out pure tobacco taste.” In the mid 1980s, Newport began an advertising campaign that courted African Americans in urban areas. In two years, Newports became the fifth most popular cigarette on the market. 3 A 2004 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the percentage of teen Newport smokers doubled between 1989 and 1996. Researcher Karen Gerlach indicated that Newports made the most significant progress with the Hispanic and White American teen markets in those years. 4 A 1998 Massachusetts Department of Public Health report indicated that Newports alongside unfiltered Camel cigarettes contained the highest levels of nicotine in cigarettes on the market. In the following six years, Lorillard Tobacco increased the amount of nicotine in Newports by 10%.

Varieties edit

Newport cigarettes come in several varieties Full Flavor, Medium, and Lights. In the United States, effective June 2010, “Medium” and “Lights” will be re branded into “Blue” and “Gold” respectively. On the box, the words “Menthol Box” for shorts and “Menthol Box 100s” for 100s were replaced simply with “Cigarettes”. Each variety is sold in 85mm soft packs (king size), 80mm hard packs (box), and 100mm soft and hard packs. They are available in standard packs of 20 cigarettes, as well as the more unusual 25s, containing 25 cigarettes. Prior to the signing of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in the late 1990s, they were sold in packs of ten as well.

Due to the new FDA Tobacco Regulations, the terms “Full Flavor”, “Medium”, “Light”, “Mild”, and “Ultra Light” have been discontinued. New names for Newport Cigarettes are as follows

  • Newport Box (Full Flavor)
  • Newport Box 100s (Full Flavor 100s)
  • Newport Smooth Select (Full Flavor)
  • Newport Smooth Select 100s (Full Flavor 100s)
  • Newport Menthol Blue (Medium)
  • Newport Menthol Blue 100s (Medium 100s)
  • Newport Menthol Gold (Light)
  • Newport Menthol Gold 100s (Light 100s)
  • Newport Non Menthol
  • Newport Non Menthol 100s
  • Newport Non Menthol Gold
  • Newport Non Menthol Gold 100s

Non menthol Newports in Full Flavor and Lights were sold in United States during the mid to late 1990s, possibly as late as 2002 however they were discontinued until November 2010 in which they re released them in order to keep up with the non menthol cigarette smokers in America. The packs are identical in design to standard menthol Newports except the turquoise colored area was red on the Full Flavors and mustard yellow on the Lights. Newport Slim 120s (introduced 1998), Newport “Stripes”, and Newport “M Blend” were other varieties that have also been discontinued.

In some Latin American markets, such as tourist areas of the Dominican Republic, British American Tobacco has released some limited edition varieties and outer packagings including

  • Newport Silver (menthol ultra lights
  • Newport Freezing Point (10 & 20 count boxes)
  • Newport Midnight Blast

Lawsuits and criticism edit

A lawsuit against the Lorillard Tobacco Company alleged that in the late 1960s, company vans were used to make regular trips to housing projects where free Newport cigarettes were given to children and babies. 5 Evidence showed that the deceased plaintiff died of lung cancer, but that she started smoking at 9 years old after receiving free Newport cigarettes near the playground. 6 7 The Supreme Court of Massachusetts upheld $35 million of damages against Lorillard Tobacco Company while reversing other issues of damages. 8

See also edit

  • Kool
  • List of additives in cigarettes
  • List of cigarette smoke constituents
  • Menthol cigarette
  • Tobacco smoking

References edit

Menthol cigarettes

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Menthol is a substance naturally found in mint plants such as peppermint and spearmint. It gives a cooling sensation and is frequently used to relieve minor pain and irritation and to prevent infection 1 .

Which tobacco products contain menthol?

Menthol is found in cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, smokeless tobacco products, and tobacco rolling paper.

How much menthol is found in cigarettes?

About 90% of cigarettes marketed in the United States contain menthol, even if they are not advertised as menthol cigarettes. Only cigarettes containing a certain amount of menthol (0.1% to 0.45% of the tobacco filler weight) are marketed and advertised as menthol cigarettes 2 .

What are some common menthol cigarette brands?

Some common cigarette brands that are only made in menthol flavor include Kool, Newport, and Salem 3 . Other brands of menthol and non menthol cigarettes include Doral, Virginia Slims, Marlboro, and Camel 3, 4 .

Of all menthol and non menthol cigarettes, Marlboro is the brand used most often by 42.2% of smokers 5 . Newport is second (11.3%), followed by Camel (7.5%), Basic (4.2%), Doral (3.1%), Kool (2.9%), Parliament (2.0%), Salem (1.9%), and USA Gold (1.9%) 5 .

How long has menthol been a cigarette additive?

Menthol was first added to cigarettes during the 1920s. Spud was the first cigarette brand to add menthol 6 .

What is the difference between menthol and non menthol cigarettes?

Aside from the amount of menthol added, we need more research to understand the main differences between these cigarette types and how they are harmful to your health.

Is it safer to smoke a menthol cigarette than a non menthol cigarette?

No. All cigarettes are harmful, including menthol cigarettes. Many smokers think menthol cigarettes are less harmful, but there is no evidence that menthol cigarettes are safer than other cigarettes. Like other cigarettes, menthol cigarettes harm nearly every organ in the body and cause many diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases. Menthol cigarettes, like other cigarettes, also negatively impact male and female fertility and are harmful to pregnant women and their unborn babies 7 .

Do menthol cigarettes contain fiberglass?

There is no evidence to suggest that fiberglass (used to make car parts) is in menthol cigarettes. However, there are more than 7,000 known chemical compounds, as well as toxic and carcinogenic agents, in tobacco and cigarette smoke 8 . Some of these include ammonia (used in fertilizer and household cleaning products), formaldehyde (used to preserve dead bodies), and methanol (used in antifreeze). All of these chemicals have been shown to cause cancer and other deadly diseases 9 .

Are menthol cigarettes more addictive than non menthol cigarettes?

Some research shows that menthol cigarettes may be more addictive than non menthol cigarettes 10 12 . More research is needed to understand how addiction differs between menthol and non menthol cigarette use.

Who smokes menthol cigarettes?

An estimated 43.8 million people, or 19.0% of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States smoke cigarettes 13 . Approximately one out of every four cigarettes sold in the United States has the descriptor menthol on the cigarette pack. Menthol cigarettes are disproportionately smoked by certain groups, such as adolescents, African Americans, adult females, and families with lower income. The following trends in the use of menthol cigarettes can be seen among youth and adult smokers 25


  • From 2004 to 2008, almost half of adolescent smokers aged 12 to 17 years reported smoking menthol cigarettes (approximately 1 million adolescents).
  • Adolescent smokers are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than older smokers (44.8% among adolescents, 36.5% among young adults aged 18 to 25 years, and 30.1% among older adults).
  • Very high proportions of black/African American adolescents smoke menthol cigarettes. In 2008, about 7 out of 10 (71.9%) adolescent African American smokers reported smoking menthol cigarettes. However, this is significantly lower than the 82.7% (about 8 out of 10) of African American adult smokers who reported smoking menthol cigarettes in 2008.
  • While the prevalence of smoking among adolescents declined from 1997 to 2007 (36.4% to 20%), the percentage of adolescent smokers smoking menthol cigarettes increased from 2004 to 2008 (43.4% to 48.3%).


  • About 3 out of 10 adult cigarette smokers reported smoking a menthol brand.
  • Young adult smokers aged 18 to 25 years are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes (36.5%) than adults 26 years and older (30.1%). However, the proportion of menthol cigarette smokers in both groups increased from 2004 to 2008.
  • Almost half of adult menthol cigarette smokers are from minority racial/ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders.
  • Female adult smokers are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than male adult smokers. However, there is no significant gender difference among adolescent menthol smokers.
  • Adult smokers with family incomes of less than $50,000 were more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than adult smokers with higher family incomes.

Why do people smoke menthol cigarettes?

In the past, the tobacco industry has marketed menthol cigarettes as being a “healthier” and “safer” cigarette, emphasizing its cool and refreshing taste 16 . The tobacco industry has targeted “beginner” smokers and current smokers with health concerns 16 . Many people choose menthol cigarettes because of beliefs about menthol cigarettes being safer than non menthol cigarettes. However, no evidence exists indicating that menthol cigarettes are safer. All cigarette smoking is linked to many cancers and other diseases.

How has the tobacco industry marketed and encouraged people to smoke menthol cigarettes?

In the past, the tobacco industry has actively marketed menthol cigarettes to consumers under a concept of “coolness,” with messages of fresh/refreshing taste and sensation, youthfulness, fun, and healthful effects 17 . Advertisements often showed nature, coldness, springtime, water, and other refreshing qualities 17 .

Does the tobacco industry market menthol cigarettes to anyone in particular?

Yes. Studies and evidence from tobacco industry documents showed that, in the past, the tobacco industry has a history of marketing menthol cigarettes to women, youth, and minority racial/ethnic groups, including African Americans/blacks, Latinos/Hispanics, and Asian Americans 16, 18, 19 .

Research suggests that African American/blacks may be the most directly targeted group of menthol smokers 18, 19 .

How much of the tobacco industry sales come from menthol cigarettes?

Historically, about 27% of the tobacco industry’s total sales have come from menthol cigarettes 20 . In 2006, however, menthol accounted for only 20% of the total sales, representing a notable decline for the first time in over 40 years 21 .

Is menthol in other products?

Yes. Menthol is added to many other products, including

  • Lozenges
  • Syrups
  • Creams/ointments
  • Nasal sprays
  • Powders
  • Candy

Menthol is generally used in small amounts to temporarily relieve throat irritations and coughs from colds or inhaled irritants 22 . But keep in mind that none of these products are ignited or smoked when used.

Does the FDA regulate menthol in other products?

Yes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the menthol concentration in other products, including lozenges, shampoos, and ointments 23, 24 .

The FDA also mandates that warning labels be placed on cold medications, including those that contain menthol, indicating that continued use may hide the early warning symptoms of more serious conditions 22 . However, it is important to note that there is a difference between using products containing menthol that are approved as safe and effe
ctive by the FDA and products containing menthol that are ignited or smoked.

Does the FDA regulate menthol in cigarettes?

No, the FDA does not regulate menthol in cigarettes at this time. On June 22, 2009, President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products. Section 907 banned the use of specific flavors in cigarettes, such as herbs, spices, strawberry, and grape, but it did not ban menthol 25 . However, in 2011, the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee issued a report on the impact of menthol in cigarettes on public health, and the FDA is considering the possibility of regulating menthol.

Where can I find more information on menthol cigarettes?

  • Executive Summary of the First Menthol Conference
  • CDC Smoking & Tobacco Use Database

Please email the NCI Smokefree Team if you have additional questions ncismokefreeteam


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  2. Perfetti, T.A., Menthol and the Design of Mentholated Cigarettes Course. Module 1. Menthol and Mint Flavor Additives General History and Applications. 1985.
  3. Celebucki, C.C., et al., Characterization of measured menthol in 48 U.S. cigarette sub brands. Nicotine Tob Res, 2005. 7(4) p. 523 531.
  4. The Landis Group, Qualitative report for Phillip Morris on menthol cigarettes. 1992 West Palm Beach, FL.
  5. Office of Applied Studies, The NSDUH Report Cigarette Brand Preferences in 2005. 2007.
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  14. U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau, Menthol Cigarette Use by Sociodemographics Among Current Adult Smokers Ages 18 , Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS CPS) 2006/07. 2008, National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Co sponsored Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (2006 07)
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