Menthol cigarettes and smoking cessation among racial/ethnic groups in the United States

Addiction. 2010 Dec;105 Suppl 1(0 1):84-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03187.x.


Aim: To examine the association between smoking mentholated cigarettes and smoking cessation, separately for different racial/ethnic groups.

Design: Secondary data analysis of the 2003 and 2006-07 Tobacco Use Supplements to the Current Population Survey.

Setting: United States.

Participants: African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, non-Hispanic white adults.

Measurements: Examined relations between the use of mentholated cigarettes and measures of smoking cessation.

Findings: Among African Americans (ORadj = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.35-1.95) and Hispanics/Latinos (ORadj = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.00-1.47), those who currently smoked mentholated cigarettes were more likely be seriously considering quitting in the next six months than were non-menthol smokers, after adjusting for sociodemographic factors. African Americans (ORadj = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.60-2.19) and Hispanics/Latinos (ORadj = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.11-1.62) who smoked mentholated cigarettes were also significantly more likely to have a positive estimation of successfully quitting in the next six months compared to non-menthol smokers. These associations were not found among Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans/Alaska Natives and Non-Hispanic Whites. Among former smokers, across racial/ethnic groups, those who smoked mentholated cigarettes (vs. non-menthols) were significantly less likely to have successfully quit for at least six months: African Americans (ORadj = 0.23, 95% CI: 0.17-0.31), Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (ORadj = 0.22, 95% CI: 0.11-0.45), Hispanics/Latinos (ORadj = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.34-0.69) and Non-Hispanic Whites (ORadj = 0.28, 95% CI: 0.25-0.33).

Conclusion: Across race/ethnic groups, those who used to regularly smoke mentholated cigarettes were less likely to have experienced long-term quitting success. Cessation programs should consider the type of cigarette typically smoked by participants, particularly menthols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Demography
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Menthol*
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking / therapy
  • Smoking Cessation / ethnology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult


  • Menthol