ClearWay Minnesota(SM) Funds Studies on Menthol Cigarettes

$360,000 to fund research projects at University of Minnesota, Public Health Law Center

Jan 16, 2013, 14:16 ET from ClearWay Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the ClearWay Minnesota Board of Directors approved two new research grants that will fund studies examining menthol cigarettes in Minnesota. A third grant, also for a menthol-focused research project, was approved by the Board in November. Research grantees the University of Minnesota and the Public Health Law Center will receive more than $360,000 through these awards.

"We know menthol cigarettes increase smoking initiation among youth, make it harder for smokers to break free of addiction, and are disproportionately marketed to ethnic minorities," said ClearWay Minnesota Chief Executive Officer David Willoughby. "These new studies will help identify ways to address the problem of menthol use in Minnesota."

Three research grants, totaling $360,628, were awarded to:

  •  The University of Minnesota, for Evaluation of Cessation Treatment Preferences of Menthol Smokers – This one-year research project, not to exceed $125,000, will aim to determine African American menthol smokers' perceptions, preferences and usage patterns around mint-flavored and non-mint-flavored tobacco cessation products. The Principal Investigator is Kola Okuyemi, M.D., M.P.H.
  •  The University of Minnesota, for Smoker Response to Banning of Menthol-Flavored Cigarettes This one-year research project, not to exceed $110,628, will study the impacts of eliminating menthol cigarettes on smoking behavior, on motivation to quit smoking and on biomarkers of tobacco-related carcinogen exposure in African American menthol smokers. The Principal Investigator is Michael Kotlyar, Pharm.D.  
  • The Public Health Law Center, for Regulation of Menthol Cigarettes in Minnesota – This one-year research project, not to exceed $125,000, will conduct legal research on viable policy options for addressing menthol cigarette use. The Principal Investigator is Michael Freiberg, J.D. (This grant award was approved by the ClearWay Minnesota Board of Directors at its meeting on November 14, 2012.)

"The impacts of menthol tobacco use fall hardest on kids and on members of our diverse communities," said Willoughby. "New knowledge can point the way forward for those working to reduce tobacco's harm on all individuals and communities in our state."

About ClearWay MinnesotaSM

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit

SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota