Next Question 7. Do additives make tobacco more attractive?
Additives can make smoke look more attractive for other people as well as the smoker and reduce lingering odours, as well as mask the smell of smoke. They can make it easier to start smoking by making the smoke, cooler, sweeter, and less harsh to the throat. Harshness can be altered by changing the ratio of nicotine to tar, and also by adding flavourings which give the impression a particular cigarette brand is smooth .
It is very difficult to identify the role of individual substances in enhancing attractiveness. There is most information about menthol, used in cigarette brands which are popular in the USA. Menthol reduces harshness and may encourage deeper inhalation of smoke. In the USA a much higher proportion of African Americans than European Americans smoke mentholated cigarettes.
The available data do not allow drawing any conclusion on the overall effect of additives on the use of tobacco products. The prevalence of smoking (i.e. the number of smokers) is stable or in decline in most EU Member States. 2006 figures indicate that 27.5 per cent of adults smoked in the EU 33.2 per cent of men and 21.8 per cent of women roughly the same levels as in 2002. Smoking is more common, on average in Eastern European Member States.
Flavourings may be used to target young people, and there is evidence that younger smokers are more likely to use flavoured cigarettes. However, UK data suggest that brand preferences of child and adult smokers are quite similar. There are also indications in the UK market, which is dominated by domestic brands, that cigarettes marketed as additive free may become popular.
Cigarettes: approximation of rates
REFERENCES ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal Directive 92/79/EEC
OJ L 316 of 31.10.1992
Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal Directive 1999/81/EC
OJ L 211 of 11.8.1999
OJ L 46 of 16.2.2002
OJ L 233 of 20.12.2003
OJ L 50 of 27.2.2010