New research on menthol and flavoured capsule cigarettes


Recently published research led by Christina Kyriakos at Imperial College has added to our understanding of the role of menthol and flavoured capsule cigarettes, including in low and middle-income countries.

An examination of global market trends published in Tobacco Induced Diseases, indicated growth of capsule cigarettes across all WHO regions, except Europe. There has been a menthol cigarette ban in Europe since May 2020.  Growth was most substantial in upper-middle income countries, and in the Americas region. Data showed that menthol use remained high, in the Western Pacific and Africa regions.

Survey data from Brazil, published in Preventative Medicine, shows that the majority of Brazilians support bans on menthol and other additives, and over a third say they would quit smoking completely if menthol cigarettes were banned.  The tobacco industry has lobbied against menthol and flavour bans in Brazil.

Analysis of ITC data from the Netherlands published in Tobacco Control, showed that smokers were significantly less likely to say they usually smoked a menthol brand after the EU menthol ban, and menthol smokers had higher quit rate attempts. However, many continued to smoke.  The tobacco industry introduced flavour and accessories which were not included in the ban and 43% menthol smokers reported using them.

See also the STOP topic brief and research summaries now available in Spanish and Portuguese, available from

For more information on the topic, including industry interference, see our updated TobaccoTactics pages:

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