Estimation of the Retention of Menthol in the Respiratory Tract of Menthol Cigarette Smokers: A Pilot Study

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SUMMARY

Menthol has been measured in cigarettes, in cigarette smoke preparations, and in smokers' blood and urine, but the efficiency of retention of smoke-delivered menthol by the smoker has not previously been reported. Thirteen smokers participated in a study designed to determine the deposition and retention efficiency of menthol in cigarette smoke in the respiratory tract when smoking mentholated cigarettes. This paper describes the results obtained during the measurement of analytes in exhaled cigarette smoke. Solanesol, nicotine, and menthol in exhaled smoke were collected using a vacuum-assisted pump during the smoking session in which each participant smoked three mentholated cigarettes within one hour. The analytes were quantified using a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for solanesol and a gas chromatography- flame ionization detection (GC-FID) method for nicotine and menthol. Cigarette butts were collected after smoking and compared against those from machinesmoked cigarettes to provide an estimate of mouth-level exposures to the smoke constituents during normal smoking. An average of 93% of smoke-delivered menthol, 97% of nicotine and 64% of solanesol was retained by smokers of a mentholated cigarette. The results for solanesol and nicotine in this study were in agreement with prior published values for smokers of non-mentholated cigarettes. The findings of this study confirm the general utility of the mouth-level exposure technique to estimate smokers' exposures to mainstream smoke constituents, and are consistent with a considerable body of evidence from investigations of cigarette smoke exposure biomarkers indicating that exposures of smokers to major smoke constituents from menthol and non-menthol cigarettes are essentially identical. [Beitr. Tabakforsch. Int. 26 (2014) 26-33]

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