A menthol cigarette is a cigarette flavored with the compound menthol, a substance which triggers the cold-sensitive nerves in the skin without actually providing a drop in temperature.
Menthol cigarettes have also been shown to inhibit nicotine metabolism, leading to increased systemic nicotine exposure.
Tobacco has a long history in the United States. An estimated 45.3 million people, or 19.3% of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States smoke cigarettes in 2010. By state, in 2010, smoking prevalence ranged from 9.1% in Utah to 26.8% in West Virginia. By region, in 2010, smoking prevalence was highest in the Midwest (21.8%) and South (21.0%) and lowest in the West (15.9%). Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for approximately 443,000 deaths, or 1 of every 5 deaths, in the United States each year.