Statistics, Department of


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Healthcare 2017, 5, 2; doi:10.3390/healthcare5010002


© 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license


Introduction: The aims of this study were to evaluate whether menthol smoking and race/ethnicity are associated with nicotine dependence in daily smokers. Methods: The study used two subsamples of U.S. daily smokers who responded to the 2010–2011 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The larger subsample consisted of 18,849 non-Hispanic White (NHW), non-Hispanic Black (NHB), and Hispanic (HISP) smokers. The smaller subsample consisted of 1112 non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN), non-Hispanic Asian (ASIAN), non-Hispanic Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (HPI), and non-Hispanic Multiracial (MULT) smokers. Results: For larger (smaller) groups the rates were 45% (33%) for heavy smoking (16+ cig/day), 59% (51%) for smoking within 30 min of awakening (Sw30), and 14% (14%) for night-smoking. Overall, the highest prevalence of menthol smoking corresponded to NHB and HPI (>65%), followed by MULT and HISP (31%–37%), and then by AIAN, NHW, and ASIAN (22%–27%) smokers. For larger racial/ethnic groups, menthol smoking was negatively associated with heavy smoking, not associated with Sw30, and positively associated with night-smoking. For smaller groups, menthol smoking was not associated with any measure, but the rates of heavy smoking, Sw30, and night-smoking varied across the groups. Conclusions: The diverse associations between menthol smoking and nicotine dependence maybe due to distinction among the nicotine dependence measures, i.e., individually, each measure assesses a specific smoking behavior. Menthol smoking may be associated with promoting smoking behaviors.