Menthol Cigarette Smoking Among Individuals in Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

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Addictive Behaviors

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There are higher rates of menthol cigarette smoking within certain population subgroups. Limited research has examined menthol use among individuals in treatment for substance use disorders (SUD), a population with a high prevalence of cigarette smoking, poor smoking cessation outcomes, and high tobacco disease burden. Survey data were collected from 863 smokers sampled from 24 SUD treatment programs affiliated with the NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) in the United States. Prevalence of menthol cigarette smoking was examined for the sample. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to examine demographic and tobacco use characteristics associated with menthol cigarette smoking. Overall, the prevalence of menthol smoking among individuals in SUD treatment was 53.3%. Smoking menthol versus non-menthol cigarettes was associated with being female (AOR = 1.61, p = 0.003), African American (AOR = 7.89, p < 0.001), Hispanic/Latino (AOR = 3.39, p < 0.001), and lower odds of having a college degree (AOR = 0.49, p = 0.015). Controlling for demographic factors, menthol smokers were more likely to report marijuana (AOR = 3.33, p < 0.007) as their primary drug compared to alcohol. Lastly, menthol smokers were more likely to report interest in getting help for quitting smoking (AOR = 1.53, p = 0.01), although they were not more likely to report making a past year quit attempt. In conclusion, use of menthol cigarettes was higher among smokers in SUD treatment than in general population smokers. Regulatory policies targeting the manufacture, marketing, or sale of menthol cigarettes may benefit vulnerable populations, including smokers in SUD treatment.



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