Physiological, psychological, social, and cultural influences on the use of menthol cigarettes among Blacks and Hispanics

Nicotine Tob Res. 2004 Feb;6 Suppl 1:S29-41. doi: 10.1080/14622200310001649487.


Patterns of menthol cigarette consumption among Blacks and Hispanics are likely a product of the interactive effects of several factors: the physiological and pharmacological sensory effects of menthol, the "cool" psychological identity of being menthol smokers, the promotional marketing of menthol cigarettes, and the cultural effects of health-related beliefs and subjective culture norms. This article presents two conceptual frameworks--a moderation logic model and a mediation logic model--for organizing the disparate literature on factors affecting the consumption of menthol cigarettes among Blacks and Hispanics. Three factor domains are examined as direct effect predictors of menthol cigarette smoking: (a) physiological and pharmacological, (b) psychological, and (c) social and environmental. In addition, a fourth domain of cultural variables is presented as a class of moderator or mediator variables that can interact with these physiological, psychological, and social factors as determinants of menthol cigarette use. These cultural variables are examined as mediating or moderating factors that influence the use of menthol cigarettes by Black and Hispanic consumers. Recommendations are offered for future research to further understand the influence of cultural and other factors as determinants of menthol cigarette smoking among Blacks and Hispanics.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Blacks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Culture*
  • Health Behavior
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Menthol*
  • Nicotine*
  • Psychology
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Social Environment


  • Menthol
  • Nicotine