A ban on menthol cigarettes: impact on public opinion and smokers' intention to quit

Am J Public Health. 2012 Nov;102(11):e107-14. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300804. Epub 2012 Sep 20.


Objectives: We assessed support for a ban by the Food and Drug Administration on menthol in cigarettes and behavioral intentions among menthol smokers in the event of such a ban.

Methods: We surveyed 2649 never, former, and current smokers and used ordinal logistic regression to calculate weighted point estimates and predictors of support for a menthol ban among the adult population and menthol smokers only. For menthol smokers, we also calculated weighted point estimates and predictors of behavioral intentions.

Results: Overall, 28.2% of adults opposed, 20.0% supported, and 51.9% lacked a strong opinion about a menthol ban. Support was highest among Hispanics (36.4%), African Americans (29.0%), never smokers (26.8%), and respondents with less than a high school education (28.8%). Nearly 40% of menthol smokers said they would quit if menthol cigarettes were no longer available, 12.5% would switch to a nonmenthol brand, and 25.2% would both switch and try to quit.

Conclusions: Support for a menthol ban is strongest among populations with the highest prevalence of menthol cigarette use. A menthol ban might motivate many menthol smokers to quit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menthol
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Opinion*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Tobacco Products*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Young Adult


  • Menthol