Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Advisory note: banning menthol in tobacco products

WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg)


Publication details

Number of pages: 70
Publication date: 2016
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 151033 2



Menthol is a flavouring agent commonly used in cigarettes and other tobacco products. Menthol cigarettes are used more frequently by younger smokers, women and ethnic minorities, and their use facilitates both initiation and continued smoking, leading to addiction. These issues have raised global concern.

To address this public health issue, the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg) has prepared this advisory note on menthol, which synthesizes recent studies on the prevalence and health effects of menthol in tobacco products. It provides evidence-based conclusions and recommendations for policy-makers and regulators, including a ban on menthol (and its analogues, derivatives and precursors) in cigarettes.