Best-Selling Menthol Cigarette Brands 

The Best Menthol Cigarette Brands


Worldlywiser explores all things Menthol Cigarette Brands, from market trends to the top recommendations based on research, feedback, and the author’s personal experience while urging you to stay away from cigarettes.

Menthol makes cigarettes flavorful, less harsh, and more addictive, according to NCBI

While menthol cigarettes have takers across the board, youngsters, women, Hispanics, and people of color show more inclination, reports the Centers for Disease Control. About 53% of smokers aged 18 to 25 used these types of cigarettes in 2023 while the figure for 35+ was 42%.

CDC further tells us that despite constituting only 12% of the U.S. population, about 40% of deaths linked to menthol cigarettes from 1980 to 2018 were in the black community. In 2020, 51% of Hispanic adult smokers opted for menthol cigarettes, while the usage among non-Hispanic White adults was 34%.

Since menthol increases nicotine dependence, menthol cigarette smokers find it hard to give up smoking. FDA even proposed a blanket ban on menthol cigarettes to prevent youth initiation and nicotine dependence and bring down tobacco-related diseases and deaths

The ban is already applicable in California, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts, and countries like Canada, Ethiopia, the European Union, Turkey, and the UK. 

Menthol Cigarette Market Trends

IMARC Group puts the global menthol cigarette market size at USD 92.1 Billion in 2022, expected to touch US$ 108.7 Billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 2.7%. The signs are encouraging for the tobacco companies who are otherwise experiencing a dip in non-menthol cigarette sales due to rising awareness about tobacco’s impact.  

Best-Selling Menthol Cigarette Brands

It is easy to fall for menthol cigarettes. Menthol delivers a refreshing, minty sensation and tones down the strong taste of unflavored tobacco. Plus, these types of cigarettes are perceived as a status symbol and a safer alternative to traditional ones. On that note, let’s explore the top 10 best-selling menthol cigarette brands on the market in 2024.  

Brand  Market Share (2014) Market Share (2019) Manufacturer
Newport  28.73% 30.57% RJ Reynolds
Marlboro 21.80% 25.75% Altria
Camel 8.36% 7.77% RJ Reynolds
Pall Mall  7.97% 8.31% RJ Reynolds
KOOL 6.76% 5.52% ITG Brands
Salem 3.90% 1.55% ITG Brands
Virginia Slims 2.40% 1.00% Altria
L&M 2.22% 3.31% Altria & PMI
Misty  1.47% 0.88% RJ Reynolds
Maverick 1.45% 1.19% ITG Brands

1. Newport:

  • Owner: Altria Group
  • Since: 1957 (66 years ago) 
  • Market Share: 30.57% (2019)  

Since 1996, Newport has been the 2nd best-selling cigarette brand in the U.S., just behind Marlboro. However, with a market share of 30.57% as of 2019, Newport edges out Marlboro in the menthol cigarette market. 

The brand enjoyed a steady 6.4% year-on-year growth from 28.73 in 2014. About 49.5% of all cigarettes consumed by African Americans were Newport, as a 2005 survey suggested. 

Lorillard Tobacco unleashed Newport in 1957, named after the namesake seaport in Rhode Island. Even its logo, a spinnaker, is associated with sailing. Presently, Altria Group, one of the leading tobacco brands, owns it.   

In my smoking days, I preferred Newport for its unique and satisfying menthol taste. It tastes better than any menthol cigarette I ever tried. On the downside, it is pricier and doesn’t come with mail coupons.

Popular Newport Menthol Offerings

Newport Menthol Blue (Medium) Newport Menthol Blue 100s (Medium 100s)
Newport Menthol Gold (Light) Newport Menthol Gold Soft Pack Kings
Newport Menthol Gold (Light 100s) Newport Menthol Gold Soft Pack 100s

2. Marlboro:

  • Owner: Altria Group
  • Since: 1846 (177 years ago) 
  • Market Share: 21.80% (2019)  

A market share of 25.75 puts Marlboro 2nd on the list of best-selling menthol cigarette brands. This is an impressive upturn from 21.80% in 2014. Alongside Newport, Marlboro is the only menthol cigarette brand to have a double-digit market share and a positive growth rate. 

Since 1972, Marlboro has maintained its status as the world’s top-selling brand, with a 40% global and 43.1% US market share and a $34,741 million brand value as of 2023. Interestingly, it surpasses the combined value of the next eight leading cigarette brands. 

Founded in London in 1846, Marlboro forayed into the US in 1924 where it is presently owned by Altria and produced by Phillips Morris USA. Internationally, Philip Morris International manages the brand, while Imperial Tobacco Canada manages it in Canada. 

Popular Marlboro Menthol Offerings

Marlboro Menthol Gold Marlboro Menthol Black Marlboro Menthol Blue 
Marlboro Menthol Gold 100’s Marlboro Menthol Green Pack 72’s Marlboro Menthol Rich Blue
Marlboro Menthol Rich Blue 100’s Marlboro menthol Silver  Marlboro Menthol Silver 100’s
Marlboro Menthol Skyline Marlboro Menthol Skyline 100’s Marlboro White Menthol

3. Pall Mall: 

  • Since: 1899 (124 years ago)
  • US Ownership: RJ Reynolds (in the US)
  • Worldwide Distribution: British American Tobacco
  • Market Share: 8.31% (2019) 

Pall Mall secured a notable market share of 8.31% in 2019, edging out the closest competitor Camel by a 0.54 margin. Although it experienced a decline from 7.97% in 2014 to 5.31% in 2016, the brand rebounded to 7.01% in 2018. Since then, it has been among the few menthol cigarette brands to boast a positive growth rate.

Created in 1899 by Black Butler for the elites, Pall Mall came under American Tobacco in 1907. The ownership again changed hands in 1994 with Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation buying it, which was acquired by RJ Reynolds in 2004. As of 2023, RJ Reynolds owns Pall Mall in the US and British American Tobacco elsewhere.     

In my smoking days, I liked Pall Mall’s extended burn time, massive smoke output, and delectable flavor. Being a sub-premium brand, it costs less than other menthol brands. However, even the unflavored Pall Mall cigarettes had a noticeable chemical taste.

Pall Mall Popular Menthol Offerings

Pall Mall Menthol – Kings, 100’s Pall Mall Menthol Black – Kings, 100’s
Pall Mall Menthol White – Kings, 100’s

4. Camel:

  • Since: 1913 (110 years ago)
  • Owner: R. J. Reynolds
  • Market Share: 7.77% (2019)

Owned by R. J. Reynolds in the U.S. and by Japan Tobacco internationally, Camel burst onto the scene in 1913. By 2019, it was the third best-selling brand enjoying a 7.09% share of the overall cigarette market globally.

Camel’s distinct blend of Turkish and Virginia tobacco gives you a different taste, a fulfilling draw, and a decent hit. 

Likewise, Camel commanded an 8.36% share of the menthol cigarette market in 2014, plummeting to 7.77% in 2019. However, it peaked in 2018 with a market share of 9.39%. 

Camel Crush was my favorite Camel Menthol offering, which blends “Regular” and “Fresh” flavors. Just squeeze the menthol capsule housed inside the filter and the unflavored flavor gives way to a minty one. 

5. Kool: 

  • Since: 1933 (90 years ago)
  • Owner: Imperial Tobacco
  • US Distribution: ITG Brands
  • Worldwide Distribution: British American Tobacco
  • Market Share: 5.52% (2019)

Kool’s market share dropped from 6.76% in 2014 to 5.52% in 2019, showing a decline rate of -18.3%. It did show signs of recovery in 2016, touching 6.43% but fell to 4.77% the next year.  

The tobacco industry credits Kool for pioneering the concept of menthol cigarettes and the first menthol cigarette to achieve US-wide distribution. The brand dominated the menthol segment in the 50s & 60s before Newport took over.  

Brown and Williamson unleashed Kool as “Penguin” in 1931. It became an R.J. Reynolds brand in 2003. In 2015, ITG Brands LLC, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Company acquired it. While Imperial Tobacco produces it in the US, British American Tobacco manages it worldwide.   

Popular Kool Offerings:  

Kool Filter Kings (Full Flavor) (Kings) Kool Super Longs (Full Flavor) (100’s)
Kool Blue (Milds) – Kings and 100’s Kool XL Green (Full Flavor) – Kings


Menthol cigarettes have a history and a dedicated customer base. From pioneers like Kool to dominant names like Marlboro and Newport, the top menthol cigarette brands have shaped the industry over the years. These brands cater to every taste and need with stunning varieties, flavor profiles, and innovative features such as crushable capsules. They stay significant despite the growing health concerns, stiffer regulations, and shifting consumer preferences. 

Worldlywiser urges you to quit smoking and reclaim life.

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