Study: Menthol Cigarette Smokers Have A Harder Time Quitting

A new study reaffirms the finding that smokers of menthol cigarettes have harder times quitting smoking.

SAN DIEGO — After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, found that the users of menthol-flavored combustible products have a harder time quitting than others.

The study was established “to estimate the effect of menthol use and transitions in use (switching to or from menthol) on short-term and long-term cessation from cigarette smoking and whether this differed across demographic groups (age, sex, race).”

The study was published in the journal Tobacco Control and found that nearly 40 percent of those involved with the study demonstrate “that menthol impaired menthol smokers’ attempts to quit smoking but switching from menthol improved success.”

“The effects of menthol use on impaired quitting were slightly larger for non-Hispanic Black smokers, but not different for other demographic groups,” notes the study.

Also, according to Stat News and their coverage on the study, reports that the use of menthol cigarettes before attempting to quit “decreased the probability of a smoker being able to abstain for more than one month by 28 [percent], and for more than one year by 53 [percent], compared to those who didn’t smoke menthol cigarettes.

“This [current study] is the best data we have so far from an observational study,” said Eric Leas, an assistant professor at the university, via Stat News.

“It’s confirming [the FDA’s] choice” to ban menthol,” said Leas in the statement.

The study was done through a method that compares “the probability of 30+ day and 12-month abstinence from cigarette smoking by menthol use status using two cohorts of US adult cigarette smokers who attempted to quit smoking in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health.”

This study comes, as mentioned, during a time when the FDA is working to eliminate menthol-flavored cigarettes and cigarillos (e.g., Swisher Sweets) from the US market.

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