Trends in prevalence and sociodemographic and geographic patterns of current menthol cigarette use among U.S. adults, 2005–2015

Delvon T. Mattingly, Jana L. Hirschtick, Rafael Meza, Nancy L. Fleischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Despite overall reductions in U.S. smoking prevalence, prior evidence suggests similar reductions may not have occurred for menthol cigarette users. This study examines nationally representative current menthol and non-menthol cigarette use prevalence and trends for adults (18+) overall and by sociodemographic and geographic characteristics using the 2005 (n = 31,132), 2010 (n = 26,967), and 2015 (n = 33,541) National Health Interview Survey. Between 2005 and 2015, non-menthol cigarette use decreased overall (14.7% to 9.6%, p < 0.001) and within all sociodemographic and geographic subgroups analyzed (i.e., by sex, age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, family income, and geographic region), except non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaskan Natives (NH AI/AN) and non-Hispanic Others. Menthol cigarette use significantly decreased overall (5.3% to 4.4%, p < 0.001), and among females (5.6% to 4.6%); participants aged 18–24 (7.1% to 4.3%) and 35–54 (6.2% to 4.9%); non-Hispanic Whites (4.1% to 3.6%) and non-Hispanic Blacks (14.8% to 11.9%); participants with high school degrees/GEDs (7.0% to 5.9%); participants with a family income of $75,000 or higher (3.4% to 2.3%); and participants residing in the Northeast (6.0% to 4.3%). Menthol cigarette use remained stable or did not significantly decrease among males; adults aged 25–34 and 55 years and older; NH AI/ANs, NH Others, and Hispanics; participants with less than high school education, some college, or a college degree; participants with a family income below $75,000; and participants residing in the North Central/Midwest, South, and West. Given that menthol cigarette use did not significantly change or decrease for multiple subgroups, further restriction on menthol manufacturing may help reduce tobacco use disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101227
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Cigarette smoking
  • Epidemiology
  • Health status disparities
  • Menthol
  • Public health
  • Smokers
  • Tobacco products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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