Relationship between menthol cigarettes and smoking cessation among African American light smokers

Kolawole S. Okuyemi, Babalola Faseru, Lisa Sanderson Cox, Carrie A. Bronars, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Aims: To determine whether African American light smokers who smoked menthol cigarettes had lower cessation when treated with nicotine replacement therapy and counseling. Design: Data were derived from a clinical trial that assessed the efficacy of 2 mg nicotine gum (versus placebo) and counseling (motivational interviewing counseling versus Health Education) for smoking cessation among African American light smokers (smoked ≤ 10 cigarettes per day). Participants: The sample consisted of 755 African American light smokers. Measurements: The primary outcome variable was verified 7-day point-prevalence smoking cessation at 26 weeks follow-up. Verification was by salivary cotinine. Findings: Compared to non-menthol smokers, menthol smokers were younger and less confident to quit smoking (P = 0.023). At 26 weeks post-randomization, 7-day verified abstinence rate was significantly lower for menthol smokers (11.2% versus 18.8% for non-menthol, P = 0.015). Conclusions: Among African American light smokers, use of menthol cigarettes is associated with lower smoking cessation rates. Because the majority of African American smokers use menthol cigarettes, a better understanding of the mechanism for this lower quit rate is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1979-1986
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • African Americans
  • Clinical trial
  • Counseling
  • Health education
  • Light smokers
  • Menthol
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Nicotine replacement therapy
  • Secondary analysis
  • Smoking cessation


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