National patterns and correlates of mentholated cigarette use in the United States

Authors

  • Deirdre Lawrence,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA
      Deirdre Lawrence, Pinney Associates, Inc., 3 Bethesda Metro Center Suite 1400, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. E-mail: dlawrence@pinneyassociates.com
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  • Allison Rose,

    1. Clinical Research Directorate/CMRP, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., NCI-Frederick, Frederick, MD, USA
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  • Pebbles Fagan,

    1. National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Eric T. Moolchan,

    1. Alkermes Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA
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  • James Todd Gibson,

    1. Information Management Systems, Silver Spring, MD, USA
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  • Cathy L. Backinger

    1. National Cancer Institute, Tobacco Control Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Note: This work was done while Dr. Lawrence was at the National Cancer Institute, prior to employment at Pinney Associates.

Deirdre Lawrence, Pinney Associates, Inc., 3 Bethesda Metro Center Suite 1400, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. E-mail: dlawrence@pinneyassociates.com

ABSTRACT

Aim  To examine the patterns and correlates of mentholated cigarette smoking among adult smokers in the United States.

Design  Cross-sectional data on adult current smokers (n = 63 193) were pooled from the 2003 and 2006/07 Tobacco Use Supplements to the Current Population Survey.

Measurements  The associations between socio-demographic and smoking variables were examined with gender- and race/ethnicity-stratified multivariate logistic regression models predicting current use of mentholated cigarettes.

Findings  Multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrated that black smokers were 10–11 times more likely to smoke mentholated cigarettes than white smokers men: odds ratio (OR): 11.59, 99% confidence interval (CI): 9.79–13.72; women: OR: 10.12, 99% CI: 8.45–12.11). With the exception of American Indian/Aleut/Eskimo smokers, non-white smokers were significantly more likely to smoke mentholated cigarettes than were white smokers. Additional significant factors associated with mentholated cigarette smoking included being unmarried (never married: OR: 1.21, 99% CI: 1.09–1.34; divorced/separated: OR: 1.13, 99% CI: 1.03–1.23), being born in a US territory (OR: 2.01, 99% CI: 1.35–3.01), living in a non-metropolitan area (OR: 0.87, 99% CI: 0.80–0.96), being unemployed (OR: 1.24, 99% CI: 1.06–1.44) and lower levels of education. Race/ethnicity-stratified analyses showed that women were more likely than men to smoke mentholated cigarettes. Among black smokers, young adults (aged 18–24 years) were four times more likely to smoke mentholated cigarettes compared with individuals aged 65+.

Conclusions  Race/ethnicity, gender and age are significant correlates of mentholated cigarette smoking among current smokers. Given the importance of menthol in the cigarette market and the potential untoward health effects of this additive, continued surveillance of the prevalence and correlates of mentholated cigarette use among diverse socio-demographic groups is warranted to inform appropriate interventions.

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