Original paper

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 1093-1099

First online:

Smoking intensity and intent to continue smoking among menthol and non-menthol adolescent smokers in Canada

  • Sunday AzagbaAffiliated withPropel Centre for Population Health Impact, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of WaterlooSchool of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo Email author 
  • , Leia M. MinakerAffiliated withPropel Centre for Population Health Impact, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo
  • , Mesbah F. SharafAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Concordia University
  • , David HammondAffiliated withSchool of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo
  • , Steve ManskeAffiliated withPropel Centre for Population Health Impact, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of WaterlooSchool of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo

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Abstract

Purpose

Research suggests that menthol cigarette use is associated with nicotine dependence. However, findings on the relationship between menthol smoking status and quantity of cigarettes smoked are less clear. The objective of this paper was to examine whether menthol cigarette smoking is associated with higher smoking intensity and intention to continue smoking among adolescents.

Methods

A nationally representative sample of 4,736 Canadian students in grades 9–12 was drawn from the 2010–2011 Canadian Youth Smoking Survey. Associations between smoking intensity and menthol smoking were examined using linear regression. A logistic regression was used to examine whether menthol smoking increased the odds that a student reported intention to continue smoking.

Results

Thirty-two percentage of smokers in grades 9–12 smoked menthol cigarettes in the last 30 days. Unadjusted average number of cigarettes reported by menthol smokers was 6.86 compared with 4.59 among non-menthol smokers (p < 0.001). Multivariable results showed that the average number of cigarettes smoked by menthol smokers was greater than non-menthol smokers (β = 1.92; 95 % CI = 1.16–2.68). Similar results were found using the total number of cigarettes smoked in the past week. Additionally, menthol smokers had greater odds of reporting intent to continue smoking compared with non-menthol smokers (OR = 2.95; 95 % CI = 2.24–3.90). These results were similar when separate analyses were conducted for established smokers and experimental smokers.

Conclusions

The findings of this study along with existing evidence suggest the need for banning mentholated tobacco products in Canada, in part because of its significant effect on adolescent smoking.

Keywords

Tobacco Smoking intensity Menthol Adolescent smokers