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NAQC Newsroom: Research

The Association of Menthol Cigarette Use With Quit Attempts, Successful Cessation, and Intention to

Thursday, September 8, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Courtney Keeler, Wendy Max, Valerie Yerger, Tingting Yao, Michael K. Ong, and Hai-Yen Sung.
The Association of Menthol Cigarette Use With Quit Attempts, Successful Cessation, and Intention to Quit Across Racial/Ethnic Groups in the US.
Nicotine Tob Res (2016)doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw215First published online: August 24, 2016
Few studies have examined the relationship between menthol use and smoking cessation across various racial/ethnic groups; the findings were mixed. This study explored the association of menthol cigarette use with quit attempts, smoking cessation, and intention-to-quit among U.S. adults and by race/ethnicity. Using the 2006/07 and 2010/11 Tobacco Use Supplements to the Current Population Survey data, this study analyzed 54,448 recent active smokers, defined as current smokers or former smokers who quit <12 months ago. Three behaviors were examined: any quit attempts in the past 12 months, successful cessation for ≥3 months, and intention-to-quit smoking in the next 6 months. For each cessation behavior, multiple logistic regression models were estimated separately for the full-sample and stratified racial/ethnic subsamples. While 72.3% of African American recent active smokers typically smoked menthol cigarettes, this proportion was 21.7%, 21.5%, and 28.0% for Whites, Asians, and Hispanics, respectively. African American menthol smokers had higher odds of quit attempts compared to non-African American, non-menthol smokers (full-sample analysis) as well as African American non-menthol smokers (subsample analysis). Menthol use was not significantly associated with quit attempts in other racial/ethnic subsamples. There was no significant difference in either successful cessation or intention-to-quit between menthol and non-menthol smokers. African American menthol smokers were more likely to attempt to quit smoking than non-menthol smokers but these quit attempts did not translate into successful cessation. This study revealed no association of menthol use with quit attempts, successful cessation, and intention-to-quit among other racial/ethnic groups. The findings suggested that African American menthol smokers were more motivated to quit smoking; yet, the results also indicated no significant differences in successful cessation between African American menthol and non-menthol smokers. Interventions targeting menthol smokers within the African American community may help bridge this gap. While more local sales restrictions are beginning to occur (e.g., Tobacco 21 efforts), additional policies restricting price discounting as well as the regulation of access to and the time, place, and/or manner of menthol tobacco advertising could also improve cessation rates. Further evaluation is needed to determine the viability of these policies.

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