Menthol Tobacco


Menthol Basics

Menthol is added to tobacco products to cool the throat and make them taste better. This flavoring masks the harshness of tobacco and adding menthol to tobacco makes it harder to quit. Many people use mentholated tobacco products because they believe they are a safer alternative to non-menthol cigarettes.

Menthol Targeting

Tobacco companies have a long history of targeting specific communities with their products. Menthol tobacco has been heavily targeted at the African American community, LGBTQ, women and youth.

  • 44% of Minnesota high school students who smoke, use menthol.
  • 88% of African American Adults who smoke use menthol, compared to just 25% of adult smokers overall.
  • 70% of youth LGBTQ smokers smoke menthol.


Our partners at the Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota and Northpoint’s Breathe Free North launched a video depicting the harm menthol tobacco has on our community.

Find more information on the harms caused by mentholated tobacco at:



Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota (2016). Beautiful Lie Ugly Truth About Menthol Tobacco.

Minnesota Department of Health. Teens and Tobacco in Minnesota, 2014 Update – Results from the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. November 2014.

National Youth Advocacy Coalition. Coming Out about Smoking: A Report from the National LGBTQ Young Adult Tobacco Project. 2010.

Okuyemi KS, et al. Relationship between menthol cigarettes (abbreviated) Addiction. 2007;102:1979-1986.