"This is a very important scientific discovery because if menthol does alter the actions of nicotine on its target receptor in the brain, then it is very likely to contribute to nicotine addiction," she said. "Additional studies are now necessary to test this."
What's next? Future research in mice can offer insight into the effects of menthol in cigarettes on pleasure in the brain, Kabbani wrote in her review. And, she wrote, research into genetic variations could offer insight into why some people are more prone to addiction to menthol cigarettes.
Rodu, the University of Louisville tobacco researcher, said the evidence doesn't support banning menthol, especially in light of two recent studies that found that the risk of lung cancer is actually lower among those who smoke menthol cigarettes compared to smokers of other cigarettes.
The review appeared online July 23 in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.
For more about smoking, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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