Menthol as a conditioned cue for nicotine reward
Menthol is the most widely used additive for tobacco products. It is also one of the most preferred flavors of electronic cigarettes. Using licking as the operant behavior, we are studying the role of menthol as a conditioned cue for nicotine self-administration. Our data showed that although menthol has many sensory properties, such as an strong minty odor and a slight bitter taste, it is its cooling sensation that functions as a unique sensory cue that promotes nicotine self-administration and induces long-lasting drug-seeking behavior.