-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Menthol cigarettes make it
more difficult for smokers to quit, especially blacks and Puerto
Ricans, a new study indicates.
Researchers at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the
UMDNJ-School of Public Health analyzed tobacco use data from the
U.S. National Cancer Institute and focused on white, black and
Hispanic current and former smokers.
Overall, the use of menthol cigarettes was highest among females
and young adults, aged 18 to 24. When examined by race/ethnicity,
menthol cigarette use was much higher among blacks (71.8 percent)
than among Hispanics (28.1 percent) or whites (21 percent).
But there were wide variations among Hispanics: Puerto Rican
origins (62 percent), Mexican origins (19.9 percent), and other
Hispanic origins (26.5 percent), the investigators noted.
The study also found that smokers who used menthol cigarettes
were less likely to quit than those who used non-menthol
cigarettes, and that this association was strongest among blacks
and those of Puerto Rican origin.
"Because our evidence suggests that the presence of menthol may partially explain the observed differences in cessation outcomes, the recent calls to ban this flavoring would be prudent and evidence-based," the researchers said in a UMDNJ news release.
The study appears Aug. 15 in the
American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently considering
whether to ban menthol cigarettes.
The American Cancer Society offers a
guide to quitting smoking.
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