Washington: Smokers who use menthol cigarettes have a harder time stopping smoking than those who smoke regular cigarettes, according to a new study.
The effect is even more pronounced within some ethnic groups, with blacks and Puerto Ricans appearing to have the hardest time quitting menthol cigarettes, the study found.
Utilizing data from the 2003 and 2006-2007 National Cancer Institute Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, investigators focused on White, Black and Hispanic “ever-smokers,” who were defined as current smokers and former smokers who quit in the past five years.
Current smokers were further defined as having smoked 100 cigarettes in a lifetime and smoking every day or some days at the time of the survey.
Former smokers were noted as those who smoked 100 cigarettes in a lifetime and were not smoking at all during the time of the survey.
Socioeconomic factors including education and household income were examined for all groups.
Overall, menthol smoking was more common among females and young adults, ages 18 to 24. Menthol smoking varied considerably by race/ethnicity; among blacks, 71.8 percent smoked menthols, which is significantly greater than whites (21 percent) and Hispanics (28.1 percent).
However, among Hispanics there were wide variations. Menthol smoking was more common among those of Puerto Rican descent (62 percent) than among those of Mexican (19.9 percent) and other Hispanic origins (26.5 percent).