2002 Conference Addresses Risks of Menthol Cigarettes as Use Grows Among African Americans and Young People

First conference on menthol cigarettes

Logicon/ROW Sciences, a Rockville, Md.-based health care research and consulting company, organized "The First Conference on Menthol Cigarettes: Setting the Research Agenda," March 21–22, 2002 in Atlanta.

Menthol cigarette use has been concentrated among African-Americans, and is increasing among many young people, yet there is little data on the epidemiology, marketing and toxicology of menthol cigarettes.

Key Results

  • The conference brought together 82 scientists and other experts from diverse disciplines to identify what is known about the risks associated with menthol cigarette use and to set an agenda for future research.

    Conference attendees represented the fields of epidemiology, pharmacology, behavioral science, and marketing among other disciplines, from some 70 different organizations, agencies and universities in the United States.

    The agenda included 14 presentations and six panels. Topics included:
    • The emergence of menthol cigarettes.
    • Why it is important to study menthol cigarettes.
    • The use of menthol cigarettes in the United States by African Americans and others.
    • What is known of the toxicology of menthol cigarettes.
  • An Executive Summary of the conference, written for researchers, scientists, and tobacco control practitioners, presents background on the use of menthol in cigarettes and provides readers with a variety of questions related to menthol that still need to be studied. The summary is available online from the National Cancer Institute. (See the Bibliography for details.)

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project from December 2001 to May 2002 with a grant of $30,000.

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