July 2004

Grant Results

SUMMARY

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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THE PROBLEM

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.

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THE PROJECT

To address these issues, a planning committee composed of experts in tobacco research, public health and others developed a conference agenda and selected the speakers (see the Appendix for list of committee members).

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RESULTS

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, and what is known of the toxicology of menthol cigarettes. 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.

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 (NCI). (See the Bibliography for details.)

Communications

The peer-reviewed journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research published the conference proceedings in a February 2004 supplement (see Grants Result on ID# 033389). The abstracts are available online. Full text of articles is available to journal subscribers. NCI supported publication of the proceedings with a grant of $50,000.

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AFTER THE GRANT

As a result of discussions at the conference, the project director reports that intramural researchers at the National Center for Environmental Health have contracted with an outside research team to conduct a study of biological markers among smokers of menthol cigarettes compared with smokers of non-menthol cigarettes. A research team affiliated with the Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation has proposed a study to assess carcinogens and menthol levels in expired breath. In addition, meeting participants published a number of new articles on smoking and menthol cigarettes. (See the Bibliography.)

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

First Conference on Menthol Cigarettes

Grantee

Logicon/ROW Sciences (Rockville,  MD)

  • Amount: $ 30,000
    Dates: December 2001 to May 2002
    ID#:  042934

Contact

Pamela I. Clark, Ph.D.
(410) 372-2750
clarkp@battelle.org

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

Members of the Planning Committee

Planning Committee Co-chairs
Pamela I. Clark, Ph.D.
Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation
Columbus, Ohio

Phillip S. Gardiner, Dr.P.H.
Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP)
University of California Office of the President
Oakland, Calif.

Planning Committee Members
Jesse W. Brown, M.Div.
National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery
Philadelphia, Pa.

Mirjana V. Djordjevic, Ph.D.
Tobacco Control Research Branch
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
Washington, D.C.

Pebbles Fagan, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Tobacco Control Research Branch
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
Washington, D.C.

Bridgette E. Garrett, Ph.D.
Office on Smoking and Health
National Centers for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Ga.

Karen Gerlach, M.P.H., Ph.D.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, N.J.

Deirdre Lawrence, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch/Applied Research Program
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
Washington, D.C.

Scott J. Leischow, Ph.D.
Tobacco Control Research Branch
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health
Washington, D.C.

Helen Lettlow, Ph.D.
Priority Populations Department
American Legacy Foundation
Washington, D.C.

Robert G. Robinson, Dr.P.H.
Office on Smoking and Health
National Centers for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Atlanta, Ga.

Charyn D. Sutton, B.A.
The Onyx Group
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Articles

Brooks DR, Palmer JR, Strom BL, Rosenberg L. "Menthol Cigarettes and Risk of Lung Cancer." American Journal of Epidemiology, 158(7):609–616, 2003. Abstract available online.

Garten S, Falkner RV. "Continual Smoking of Mentholated Cigarettes May Mask the Early Warning Symptoms of Respiratory Disease." Preventive Medicine, 37(4): 291–296, 2003. Abstract available online.

Henningfield JE, Benowitz NL, Ahijevych K, Garrett BE, Connolly GN, Wayne GF. "Does Menthol Enhance the Addictiveness of Cigarettes? An Agenda for Research." Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 5(1): 9–11, 2003.

Hyland A, Garten S, Giovino GA, Cummings KM. "Mentholated Cigarettes and Smoking Cessation: Findings from COMMIT. Community Intervention Trial for Smoking Cessation." Tobacco Control, 11(2): 135–139, 2002. Abstract available online.

MacDougall JM, Fandrick K, Zhang X, Serafin SV, Cashman JR. "Inhibition of Human Liver Microsomal (S)-Nicotine Oxidation by (-)-Menthol and Analogues." Chemical Research in Toxicology, 16(8): 988–993, 2003. Abstract available online.

Muscat JE, Richie JP Jr, Stellman SD. "Mentholated Cigarettes and Smoking Habits in Whites and Blacks." Tobacco Control, 11(4): 368–371, 2002. Abstract available online.

Stellman SD, Chen Y, Muscat JE, Djordjevic MV, Richie JP Jr, Lazarus P, Thompson S, Altorki N, Berwick M, Citron ML, Harlap S, Kaur TB, Neugut AI, Olson S, Travaline JM, Witorsch P, Zhang ZF. "Lung Cancer Risk in White and Black Americans." Annals of Epidemiology, 13(4): 294–302, 2003. Abstract available online.

Reports

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "The First Conference on Menthol Cigarettes: Setting the Research Agenda, Executive Summary." Washington: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002. Also available online.

Sponsored Conferences

"The First Conference on Menthol Cigarettes: Setting the Research Agenda," March 21–22, 2002, Atlanta. Attended by 82 scientists and other experts in nicotine and tobacco research, representing some 70 organizations, agencies and universities in the United States, including the CDC, NCI and the National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery. 14 presentations and six panels. Abstracts of proceedings available online. Subscribers can access full text.

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Report prepared by: Jan Hempel
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Karen K. Gerlach

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