Exploring the relationship between race/ethnicity, menthol smoking, and cessation, in a nationally representative sample of adults.
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OBJECTIVE: To explore the relationship between race/ethnicity, menthol smoking, and cessation in a nationally representative sample of adults. METHODS: Data from the 2005 U.S. National Health Interview Survey was analyzed. Our analyses were restricted to 7815 white, black, and Hispanic current and former cigarette smokers who indicated that they do not currently use other tobacco products and have made a quit attempt. We used multiple logistic regressions to test the relationship of menthol smoking and cessation controlling for various factors. RESULTS: Significant interaction effects were found indicating that the association between menthol smoking and cessation differs between whites and blacks, and whites and Hispanics. When blacks and Hispanics are collapsed as non-white, we found that non-white menthol smokers were significantly less likely to have quit smoking (adjusted odds ratio=0.55, p<0.01) compared to their non-menthol smoking counterparts. In contrast, among whites, menthol smokers were more likely to be former smokers than nonmenthol smokers (adjusted odds ratio=1.17, p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Our findings provide some support for the hypothesis that menthol smoking can lead to poorer cessation outcomes, but only for non-white smokers.