Relationship between menthol cigarettes and smoking cessation among African American light smokers

Program in Health Disparities Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
Addiction (Impact Factor: 4.74). 12/2007; 102(12):1979-86. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.02010.x
Source: PubMed


To determine whether African American light smokers who smoked menthol cigarettes had lower cessation when treated with nicotine replacement therapy and counseling.
Data were derived from a clinical trial that assessed the efficacy of 2 mg nicotine gum (versus placebo) and counseling (motivational interviewing counseling versus Health Education) for smoking cessation among African American light smokers (smoked < or = 10 cigarettes per day).
The sample consisted of 755 African American light smokers.
The primary outcome variable was verified 7-day point-prevalence smoking cessation at 26 weeks follow-up. Verification was by salivary cotinine.
Compared to non-menthol smokers, menthol smokers were younger and less confident to quit smoking (P = 0.023). At 26 weeks post-randomization, 7-day verified abstinence rate was significantly lower for menthol smokers (11.2% versus 18.8% for non-menthol, P = 0.015).
Among African American light smokers, use of menthol cigarettes is associated with lower smoking cessation rates. Because the majority of African American smokers use menthol cigarettes, a better understanding of the mechanism for this lower quit rate is needed.

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    • "The perception of menthol cigarettes as safer than nonmenthol cigarettes is of special concern given the growing body of research, suggesting that menthol cigarettes may be more addictive than regular cigarettes (Ahijevych & Parsley, 1999; Gandhi, Foulds, Steinberg, Lu, & Williams, 2009; Gundersen, Delnevo, & Wackowski, 2009; Hersey et al., 2006; Okuyemi, Faseru, Sanderson Cox, Bronars, & Ahluwalia, 2007; Okuyemi et al., 2003; Pletcher et al., 2006; Wackowski & Delnevo, 2007). Thus far, however, limited research has inquired about risk perceptions of menthol cigarettes, and to date, this research has produced mixed findings. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tobacco product risk perceptions may influence whether individuals use those products instead of or in addition to regular cigarettes. This study aimed to explore risk perceptions of various tobacco products relative to traditional cigarettes with young adults, a group with higher rates of tobacco use. We examined risk perception responses among a nationally representative sample of young adults (age 18-34 years; n = 2,871, including tobacco and non-tobacco users) from the 2011 National Young Adult Health Survey. Most (57.8%) respondents believed that e-cigarettes were less risky than cigarettes. Respondents were more likely to rate combustible products hookah (24.5%) and cigars (13.9%) as being less risky compared to noncombustible snus (10%) and other smokeless tobacco (SLT) products (7.1%) relative to cigarettes. Few (2.5%) rated menthol cigarettes as less risky. For e-cigarettes, hookah, and SLT, less risky beliefs were significantly higher among ever or current versus never product users. Between 22% and 33% of all respondents believed that SLT, snus, menthol cigarettes, and cigars were more risky than cigarettes, but differences in this belief between current and nonusers of these products were small and insignificant. Younger young adults were more likely to rate e-cigarettes and hookah as being "less risky" and rate cigars and SLT as being "more risky" than older young adults. The public's views of comparative tobacco risk perceptions vary widely by tobacco product type and age-group. While "less risky" perceptions may be associated with product use, perceptions that products are "more risky" than cigarettes may not necessarily dissuade people from their use. © 2015 Society for Public Health Education.
    Health Education & Behavior 08/2015; DOI:10.1177/1090198115599988 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    • "While this finding is consistent with recent studies that enrolled both African American and White smokers (Heck, 2009; Signorello, Cai, Tarone, McLaughlin, & Blot, 2009), it contradicts another study conducted by Ahijevych and Parsley (1999) in which they found significant differences in serum cotinine between menthol and nonmenthol smokers, albeit in heavier smokers (Ahijevych & Parsley, 1999). Also, similar to our previous study (Okuyemi, Faseru, et al., 2007) confidence to quit was high in both menthol and non-menthol smokers (7.04–7.90 out of 10). "
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    ABSTRACT: Smoking menthol cigarettes is more prevalent among African Americans (AA) compared to Whites. Menthol has been found to be inversely related to smoking cessation among AA, yet little is known about the factors associated with menthol smoking among AA light smokers. This study examines baseline demographic, psychological, and smoking factors associated with smoking menthol cigarettes among AA light smokers (≤10 cigarettes per day). Participants (n=540) were enrolled in a double blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial of bupropion in combination with health education counseling for smoking cessation. Bivariate differences between menthol and non-menthol smokers were explored and baseline factors associated with smoking menthol cigarettes were identified. Participants averaged 46.5 years in age, predominantly female (66.1%), and smoked an average of 8.0 cpd (SD=2.5). The majority (83.7%) smoked menthol cigarettes. In bivariate analysis, menthol cigarette smokers were younger (mean age: 45 vs. 52 years p<0.0001), were more likely to be female (68% vs. 52% p=0.003) and had smoked for shorter duration (28 vs. 34 years p<0.0001) compared to non-menthol smokers. While depression and withdrawal scores were slightly higher and exhaled carbon monoxide values were lower among menthol smokers, the differences were not statistically significant. Among AA light smokers, younger individuals and females were more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes and may be more susceptible to the health effects of smoking. Appropriately targeted health education campaigns are needed to prevent smoking uptake in this high-risk population.
    Addictive behaviors 07/2011; 36(12):1321-4. DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2011.07.015 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    • "Five studies have compared age of starting to smoke in mentholated and non-mentholated cigarette smokers. No significant differences were seen in the largest study [46], which involved over 10,000 subjects and adjusted for race, in two studies in Black people [47,48], or in two other studies [49,50] which did not adjust for race. "
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    ABSTRACT: US mentholated cigarette sales have increased considerably over 50 years. Preference for mentholated cigarettes is markedly higher in Black people. While menthol itself is not genotoxic or carcinogenic, its acute respiratory effects might affect inhalation of cigarette smoke. This possibility seems consistent with the higher lung cancer risk in Black men, despite Black people smoking less and starting smoking later than White people. Despite experimental data suggesting similar carcinogenicity of mentholated and non-mentholated cigarettes, the lack of convincing evidence that mentholation increases puffing, inhalation or smoke uptake, and the similarity of lung cancer rates in Black and White females, a review of cigarette mentholation and lung cancer is timely given current regulatory interest in the topic. Epidemiological studies comparing lung cancer risk in mentholated and non-mentholated cigarette smokers were identified from MedLine and other sources. Study details were extracted and strengths and weaknesses assessed. Relative risk estimates were extracted, or derived, for ever mentholated use and for long-term use, overall and by gender, race, and current/ever smoking, and meta-analyses conducted. Eight generally good quality studies were identified, with valid cases and controls, and appropriate adjustment for age, gender, race and smoking. The studies afforded good power to detect possible effects. However, only one study presented results by histological type, none adjusted for occupation or diet, and some provided no results by length of mentholated cigarette use.The data do not suggest any effect of mentholation on lung cancer risk. Adjusted relative risk estimates for ever use vary from 0.81 to 1.12, giving a combined estimate of 0.93 (95% confidence interval 0.84-1.02, n = 8), with no increase in males (1.01, 0.84-1.22, n = 5), females (0.80, 0.67-0.95, n = 5), White people (0.87, 0.75-1.03, n = 4) or Black people (0.90, 0.73-1.10, n = 4). Estimates for current and ever smokers are similar. The combined estimate for long-term use (0.95, 0.80-1.13, n = 4) again suggests no effect of mentholation. Higher lung cancer rates in Black males cannot be due to their greater preference for mentholated cigarettes. While some study weaknesses exist, the epidemiological evidence is consistent with mentholation having no effect on the lung carcinogenicity of cigarettes.
    BMC Pulmonary Medicine 04/2011; 11(1):18. DOI:10.1186/1471-2466-11-18 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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