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, 54 (7), 1106-1114

Does Experienced Discrimination Explain Patterns of Menthol Use Among Young Adults? Evidence From the 2014 San Francisco Bay Area Young Adult Health Survey

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Does Experienced Discrimination Explain Patterns of Menthol Use Among Young Adults? Evidence From the 2014 San Francisco Bay Area Young Adult Health Survey

Louisa M Holmes et al. Subst Use Misuse.

Abstract

Background: Young adults are at high risk for using flavored tobacco, including menthol and underrepresented populations, such as Latino and African American young adults, are at particular risk.

Objectives: The purpose of this study is to identify sociodemographic correlates of menthol use among young adult smokers and examine the potential role of experienced discrimination in explaining any associations.

Methods: We conducted a probabilistic multimode household survey of young adults (aged 18-26) residing in Alameda and San Francisco Counties in California in 2014 (n = 1,350). We used logistic regression to evaluate associations between menthol cigarette use and experienced discrimination among young adult smokers as well as with respect to sociodemographic, attitudinal, and behavioral predictors. Interactions between experienced discrimination and race/ethnicity, sex and LGB identity were also modeled.

Results: Latino and non-Hispanic Black young adult smokers were more likely to report current menthol use than non-Hispanic Whites, while those with college education were less likely to do so. Experienced discrimination mediated the relationship between race and menthol use for Asian/Pacific Islander and Multiracial young adult smokers with odds of use increasing by 32 and 42% respectively for each additional unit on the experienced discrimination scale. Conclusions/Importance: Latino and African American young adult smokers have disproportionately high menthol use rates; however, discrimination only predicted higher use for Asian/Pacific Islander and Multiracial young adult smokers. Limits on the sale of menthol cigarettes may benefit all nonwhite race/ethnic groups as well as those with less education.

Keywords: Flavored tobacco; health disparities; smoking; tobacco control.

Conflict of interest statement

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Modified Experiences of Discrimination Scale, 2014 BAYAHS Instrument.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Menthol Cigarette Use among Young Adult Smokers (n=190), 2014 BAYAHS *Significantly higher than mean; †significantly lower than mean All race categories are non-Hispanic and mutually exclusive.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Mean Scores on Experiences of Discrimination Scale among Young Adult Smokers by Race/Ethnicity (n=190), 2014 BAYAHS *Significantly higher than mean; †significantly lower than mean All race categories are non-Hispanic and mutually exclusive

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