Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Paul T. Anastas


Although menthol is found in many commercial tobacco products marketed in the United States, limited studies have quantified menthol content in emerging tobacco products. Menthol produces a “cooling effect” to the throat by activating the TRPM8 receptors. This effect conceals harsh tastes associated with nicotine and may be contributing to nicotine tolerance in users. This study quantified and compared menthol levels in “heat-not-burn” IQOS HEETS sticks (Philip Morris), conventional cigarettes, and electronic cigarette (EC) refill liquids. Additional compounds responsible for “minty” aromas in EC refill liquids (eucalyptol, menthone, menthyl acetate, l-carvone, methyl salicylate) were analyzed and quantified. Menthol content of Canadian cigarettes purchased before and after a menthol ban in Ontario, Canada, were analyzed and compared with American cigarettes. Analytical methods involved gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for the detection of targeted molecules and gas chromatography with flame ionization detector (GC-FID) for quantification. Characterization and quantification of flavoring molecules are essential for conducting further inhalational toxicity studies and risk assessment of tobacco products.


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