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ATS and California Thoracic Society Urge California to Take Action Against “Cool/Non-menthol” Cigarettes
California Thoracic Society president George Su, MD, joined ATS President Gregory Downey, MD, FRCPC, ATSF, in a letter to California state health officials urging them to take action against “cool/non-menthol” cigarette products. The state of California recently passed legislation banning the sale of menthol and other flavored cigarettes. Predictably, the tobacco industry responded to the ban by introducing a new line of cigarettes that provide the same “cooling” sensation of menthol products but does not provide a menthol taste.

As noted in the letter, many of these new “cool/non-menthol” products use an additive that targets the same receptor as menthol. To market these new “cool/non-menthol” products, tobacco companies are using the same terms such as “fresh” and “cool,” as well as the color scheme that was used to market menthol products. The tobacco industry is also directly marketing these new products to current menthol tobacco smokers.

In the letter, Dr. Su and Dr. Downey ask California to, “…treat these new tobacco products as menthol tobacco products – which they are – and order their immediate removal from the market.”

Last Reviewed: June 2023