The association between menthol perceptions and supportfor a policy ban among US smokers

Jessica M. Rath, Marisa Greenberg, Lindsay Pitzer, Brittany Emelle, Molly Green, Shiyang Liu, Jeffrey Willett, Shyanika W. Rose, Elizabeth C. Hair, Donna Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between menthol perceptions and support for a national menthol ban. Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study. Participants: Data were collected from a nationally representative probability-based panel of adults aged =18 years during June 21, 2016 through July 18, 2016. A total of 1, 303 respondents, including an oversample of 300 African Americans, completed the survey. Main Outcome Measures: Weighted logistic regression models examined the relationship between menthol perceptions, specifically related to health and addiction, and the outcome measure: support for a menthol ban, by menthol smoking status. All models controlled for age, sex, education level, and race/ethnicity. Results: The association between reporting accurate menthol health perceptions differed by menthol preference. Among non-menthol smokers, there was no association between accurate menthol health perceptions and support of a menthol ban while more accurate menthol perceptions of addiction were associated with greater support of a menthol ban (aOR=2.83, CI=1.19-6.72). Among menthol smokers, more accurate health-related menthol perceptions were associated with increased odds of supporting a menthol ban (aOR=3.90, CI=1.02-14.79) while more accurate menthol addiction perceptions were not. Conclusions: Fewer current menthol smokers support a menthol ban than current non-menthol smokers given its effect on their preferred product. Given the large proportions of smokers who have misperceptions of the health consequences and addictive properties of menthol, there is a moral imperative to inform those who use these products. Findings suggest the need for tailored messaging strategies targeted to reach menthol smokers who will be most impacted by a ban, but also have the most to gain from such a policy change. Ethn Dis. 2018;28(3):177-186.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

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  • Health communications
  • Menthol
  • Smoke-free policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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