Studies have evaluated the role of menthol cigarettes on various addiction-related outcomes; however, the effect of varying menthol content on these outcomes has not been evaluated. We developed a method to amend non-menthol SPECTRUM Research Cigarettes to contain menthol at 4 different levels.
SPECTRUM Research Cigarettes, NRC 600 (0.8 mg nicotine; 10 mg tar), were modified to contain target menthol amounts at 3, 6, and 12 mg/cigarette by injecting 25 µL ethanol/triacetin/menthol solutions of varying concentrations (120 mg menthol/mL, 240 mg/mL, and 480 mg/mL) into 4 distinct locations in the filter and tobacco rod. Menthol content was tested in triplicate in the whole cigarette and in the tobacco rod and filter at 1, 24, 48, and 72 hr for each target menthol level using an extraction solution of quinoline in methyl-tert-butyl ether and measured using gas chromatography with flame ionization detection.
Injections into the filter and tobacco rod (12.5 µL each) yielded equal menthol distribution up to 72 hr. However, total menthol content decreased from an average of 90.3% of the target menthol concentration at 1 hr to 80.7% at 72 hr in cigarettes stored individually in glass tubes at room temperature. Analysis of urinary menthol glucuronide confirmed that amended cigarettes used within 24 hr of injection delivered dose-related menthol levels to participants in a clinical laboratory setting.
This method can be used to modify cigarettes with a range of reliable menthol levels in both filter and tobacco rod for use in laboratory and clinical research.
This study presents a technique for modifying cigarettes with different levels of menthol that can reliably deliver dose-related menthol levels to participants when smoked in a clinical study. The technique can be used to quickly amend cigarettes to examine the independent effects of varying flavor and additive levels on smoking behavior, nicotine pharmacokinetics, mainstream smoke emissions, and other laboratory or clinical research outcomes.