Do Smokers of Menthol Cigarettes Find It Harder to Quit Smoking?

Department of Public Health Sciences & Cancer Institute, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033-0850, USA.
Nicotine & Tobacco Research (Impact Factor: 3.3). 12/2010; 12 Suppl 2(Supplement 2):S102-9. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntq166
Source: PubMed


Menthol cigarette smokers may find it harder to quit smoking than smokers of nonmenthol cigarettes.
We conducted a systematic review of published studies examining the association between menthol cigarette smoking and cessation. Electronic databases and reference lists were searched to identify studies published through May 2010, and results were tabulated.
Ten studies were located that reported cessation outcomes for menthol and nonmenthol smokers. Half of the studies found evidence that menthol smoking is associated with lower odds of cessation, while the other half found no such effects. The pattern of results in these studies suggest that the association between smoking menthol cigarettes and difficulty quitting is stronger in (a) racial/ethnic minority populations, (b) younger smokers, and (c) studies carried out after 1999. This pattern is consistent with an effect that relies on menthol to facilitate increased nicotine intake from fewer cigarettes where economic pressure restricts the number of cigarettes smokers can afford to purchase.
There is growing evidence that certain subgroups of smokers find it harder to quit menthol versus nonmenthol cigarettes. There is a need for additional research, and particularly for studies including adequately powered and diverse samples of menthol and nonmenthol smokers, with reliable measurement of cigarette brands, socioeconomic status, and biomarkers of nicotine intake.

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Available from: Jonathan Foulds, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "Exotic flavours like menthol, vanilla, candy, alcohol, chocolate make the cigarettes desirable for teenagers, women and especially young ones [3,6]. It has been found that tobacco products having a characterized flavour other than tobacco may influence smoking initiation, higher exposure to smoke constituents, greater dependence on nicotine or worse smoking cessation outcomes [7-12]. Flavoured cigarettes not only have a more pleasant taste that makes smoking initiation easier, but the menthol’s cooling and anesthetic effects mask the short-term negative physiological effects of smoking such as throat pain, burning and cough. "
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    ABSTRACT: Nowadays the European Union faces a debate on the ban of sale of flavoured cigarettes. There is growing evidence that certain subgroups of smokers are more vulnerable to the use of flavoured cigarettes. However in some European countries, figures on the use of these cigarettes are still scarce. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of flavoured cigarettes use in Poland, and examine whether its use among adults varies by socio-demographic characteristics. Data on tobacco use including flavoured cigarettes and other characteristics were derived from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). GATS is a cross-sectional, household survey implemented in Poland between 2009 and 2010. GATS provided data on a representative sample of 7,840 individuals covering 2,254 current smokers. Logistic regression model was used to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the selected socio-economic variables on the use of flavoured cigarettes. Among females the aromatized cigarettes use was 26.1% compared to 10.5% in males (OR = 2.3; 95% CI:1.62-3.2; p <= 0.001). Respondents aged 20-29 years had an increased likelihood of using flavoured cigarettes compared to subjects aged 60 years or older (OR = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.1-6.5; p <= 0.001). Respondents aware of negative health consequences of smoking had OR = 1.4 95% CI: 1.1-2.1 (p <= 0.05) of smoking aromatized cigarettes compared to those who were unaware. Participants who perceived some kinds of cigarettes less harmful than others were also more likely to use flavoured cigarettes compared to subjects who were convinced that all cigarettes are equally harmful (OR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.1-1.8; p <= 0.01). High educational attainment, living in large cities, being non-economically active was also associated with use of flavoured cigarettes. Our results are consistent with majority of epidemiology studies on this topic to date and should be considered in the enactment of tobacco control legislation at the national as well as European levels. For combating tobacco epidemic, further efforts need to be made to prevent smoking uptake. Ban of flavoured cigarettes could considerably support achieving this goal.
    BMC Public Health 02/2014; 14(1):127. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-127 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "It is interesting to consider that menthol, a common cigarette additive, has been associated with a greater tobacco dependence potential and lower success in cessation attempts [3], [7], [4]. A reduction in α7 nACh receptor function has been proposed to constitute a biological mechanism for increased motivation for cigarette smoking [53], [54]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Menthol is a common compound in pharmaceutical and commercial products and a popular additive to cigarettes. The molecular targets of menthol remain poorly defined. In this study we show an effect of menthol on the α7 subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor function. Using a two-electrode voltage-clamp technique, menthol was found to reversibly inhibit α7-nACh receptors heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Inhibition by menthol was not dependent on the membrane potential and did not involve endogenous Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels, since menthol inhibition remained unchanged by intracellular injection of the Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA and perfusion with Ca(2+)-free bathing solution containing Ba(2+). Furthermore, increasing ACh concentrations did not reverse menthol inhibition and the specific binding of [(125)I] α-bungarotoxin was not attenuated by menthol. Studies of α7- nACh receptors endogenously expressed in neural cells demonstrate that menthol attenuates α7 mediated Ca(2+) transients in the cell body and neurite. In conclusion, our results suggest that menthol inhibits α7-nACh receptors in a noncompetitive manner.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e67674. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0067674 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "However, these factors can actually occur by class and structural inequalities (Institute of Medicine, 1999; 2003a; 2003b; Viswanath et al., 2012). Diagnosis of smoking-related diseases and obesity is prevalent in the African American Communities and low SES groups (ACS, 2009; Foulds et al., 2010; Colditz et al., 2012). Therefore, cancer incidence rate or mortality rate has a high possibility for slow improvement. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last 10 years, the number of cancer survivors in South Korea has reached nearly one million with a survival rate of 49.4%. However, integrated supportive care for cancer survivors is lagging. One area in which the current cancer control policy needs updating is in the utilization of information and communication technology (ICT). The remarkable progress in the field of ICT over the past 10 years presents exciting new opportunities for health promotion. Recent communication innovations are conducive to the exchange of meta-information, giving rise to a new service area and transforming patients into active medical consumers. Consequently, such innovations encourage active participation in the mutual utilization and sharing of high-quality information. However, these benefits from new ICTs will almost certainly not be equally available to all, leading to so-called communication inequalities where cancer survivors from lower socioeconomic classes will likely have more limited access to the best means of making use of the health information. Therefore, most essentially, emphasis must be placed on helping cancer survivors and their caregivers utilize such advances in ICT to create a more efficient flow of health information, thereby reducing communication inequalities and expanding social support. Once we enhance access to health information and better manage the quality of information, as a matter of fact, we can expect an alleviation of the health inequalities faced by cancer survivors.
    Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 06/2013; 14(6):3411-7. DOI:10.7314/APJCP.2013.14.6.3411 · 2.51 Impact Factor
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