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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Johns Hopkins: Menthol-like Cigarettes Still Sold in Canada Despite Ban

Despite a recent ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Nova Scotia, cigarettes made with similar coloring and marketed as having the same taste are still being sold, new research from the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

Menthol has long been added to cigarettes to give them a minty flavor and to make the smoking experience seem less harsh when the smoker inhales. Menthol cigarettes are popular with first-time smokers, and have historically been marketed to women, youth and ethnic minorities globally, with a third of young Canadian smokers using menthol cigarettes.

The study, published online July 20 in the journal Tobacco Control, found that while menthol cigarettes are off the market, there are new products on the shelves that look almost identical to the menthol cigarettes available before the ban and nearly 90 percent of them are being marketed as a different, smoother alternative to regular cigarettes. These marketing tactics, which clearly mimic the way menthol cigarettes have always been advertised, could undermine the effectiveness of the menthol ban, the researchers say. The Institute for Global Tobacco Control conducted this research with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.
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