Young adults' behavioral intentions surrounding a potential menthol cigarette ban
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Background: Although the 2009 Tobacco Control Act banned the sale of flavored cigarettes, it did not ban mentholated cigarettes, a recommendation since made by many public health advocates. Menthol cigarettes are disproportionately used by certain population groups and have been associated with smoking initiation and cessation difficulty. Two recent studies found that about 39% of adult menthol smokers indicated that they would quit smoking if menthol cigarettes were banned. This study aimed to explore this question with young adults in particular a group with high menthol use and a popular tobacco industry target. Methods: We examined data provided by 2871 respondents on the 2011 National Young Adult Health Survey, the first national cell phone survey of young adults designed to provide improved current estimates of tobacco measures with this priority population. Results: Approximately 24% of respondents were current smokers and 40.3% of current smokers were menthol smokers. If menthol cigarettes were no longer sold, 65.7% of menthol smokers indicated that they would quit smoking, 18.4% said they would switch to non-menthol cigarettes and 16% said they would switch to some other tobacco product. Responses to these differed significantly by race, cigarettes per day and current use of other tobacco products (e.g., cigars). Conclusions: This study found that a majority of young adult menthol smokers stated they would quit smoking if menthols were banned, rates that were substantially higher than previous studies with more general adult populations. This data suggests that banning menthols might have a significant public health impact.
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Describe the current prevalence of menthol cigarette use among young adults
Describe data trends regarding menthol smokers’ responses about their likely actions if menthol cigarettes were banned
Discuss the potential public health impact of a ban on menthol cigarettes
Keyword(s): Tobacco Control, Tobacco Policy
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Olivia Wackowski, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor at the UMDNJ School of Public Health. She has previously delivered presentations and published papers related to menthol tobacco use and perceptions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.