Flavoured tobacco products appear to play a key role in encouraging young people to start smoking and then become addicted. Menthol has been the most common flavour added to cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes have been found to increase smoking uptake and to make quitting more difficult.

An increasing number of jurisdictions, particularly in high-income countries, have banned, or intend to ban, flavoured and menthol tobacco products. This has led the industry to look elsewhere for new markets where they can still freely sell their products.

New research from the Tobacco Control Research Group explores the importance of flavoured and menthol tobacco products for tobacco markets in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The paper, Menthol and flavored tobacco products in LMICs: a growing menace, published in Tobacco Induced Diseases, identifies countries where the market share for these products is particularly high or rapidly growing, and identifies the strategies used by tobacco companies to develop these markets further.

You can find more information and resources on the use of flavours and menthol in tobacco products on Tobacco Tactics: