• Cessation;
  • race/ethnicity


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.