Smoking intensity and intent to continue smoking among menthol and non-menthol adolescent smokers in Canada
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.
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.
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.
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.
KeywordsTobacco Smoking intensity Menthol Adolescent smokers
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