The intersection of gender and race/ethnicity in smoking behaviors among menthol and non-menthol smokers in the United States
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Authors, Addiction © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction
Special Issue: The Role of Mentholated Cigarettes in Smoking Behaviors in United States Populations
Volume 105, Issue Supplement s1, pages 32–38, December 2010
How to Cite
Cubbin, C., Soobader, M.-J. and LeClere, F. B. (2010), The intersection of gender and race/ethnicity in smoking behaviors among menthol and non-menthol smokers in the United States. Addiction, 105: 32–38. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03191.x
- Issue published online: 8 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2010
- Submitted 10 March 2010; initial review completed 3 June 2010; final version accepted 20 July 2010
- socio-economic factors
Aims To determine whether menthol is related to initiation, quantity or quitting, we examined differences in smoking behaviors among menthol and non-menthol smokers, stratified by gender and race/ethnicity, and adjusting for age, income and educational attainment.
Design Cross-sectional, using data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey and Cancer Control Supplement.
Setting United States.
Participants Black, Hispanic and white women and men aged 25–64 years.
Measurements For each group, we examined (i) proportion of menthol smokers (comparing current and former smokers); (ii) age of initiation, cigarettes smoked per day and quit attempt in the past year (comparing menthol and non-menthol current smokers); and (iii) time since quitting (comparing menthol and non-menthol former smokers). We calculated predicted values for each demographic group, adjusting for age, income and educational attainment.
Findings After adjusting for age, income and education, black (compared with Hispanic and white) and female (compared with male) smokers were more likely to choose menthol cigarettes. There was only one statistically significant difference in age of initiation, cigarettes smoked per day, quit attempts or time since quitting between menthol and non-menthol smokers: white women who smoked menthol cigarettes reported longer cessation compared with those who smoked non-menthol cigarettes.
Conclusions The results do not support the hypothesis that menthol smokers initiate earlier, smoke more or have a harder time quitting compared with non-menthol smokers. A menthol additive and the marketing of it, given the clear demographic preferences demonstrated here, however, may be responsible for enticing the groups least likely to smoke into this addictive behavior.