Menthol cigarettes and smoking cessation during an aided quit attempt

Nicotine Tob Res. 2008 Mar;10(3):457-62. doi: 10.1080/14622200801901914.


Menthol may make cigarettes more addictive and rates of menthol cigarette smoking are disproportionately higher among Black. However, few studies have examined the association between menthol cigarette smoking and cessation, and the studies to date have produced conflicting findings. The present study examines the effect of menthol cigarette smoking on cessation among a multi-ethnic sample of smokers making a pharmacotherapy-aided quit attempt. We hypothesized that menthol cigarette smoking would be associated with lower smoking abstinence rates and conducted a secondary analysis of data from a multi-site randomized controlled trial of an intervention designed to facilitate repeat tobacco cessation treatment (N = 1,343). The intervention consisted of a patient phone call and a computerized provider prompt. The primary outcome for this analysis was 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence. The average age of the sample was 56 years old. Overall, 25% of the sample smoked menthol cigarettes: 19% of Whites, 62% of Blacks, and 25% of other ethnicity (p<.001). We observed no significant effects for menthol cigarette smoking or ethnicity on smoking abstinence rates. In conclusion, combined with findings from previous research, this study suggests that smoking menthol cigarettes does not decrease smoking cessation among older smokers during a quit attempt aided with pharmacotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Flavoring Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menthol / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking Cessation / ethnology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention
  • White People / statistics & numerical data


  • Flavoring Agents
  • Menthol
  • Nicotine