A ban on menthol cigarettes: Impact on public opinion and smokers' intention to quit

Jennifer L. Pearson, David B. Abrams, Raymond S. Niaura, Amanda Richardson, Donna M. Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. We assessed support for a ban by the Food and Drug Administration on menthol in cigarettes and behavioral intentions among menthol smokers in the event of such a ban. Methods. We surveyed 2649 never, former, and current smokers and used ordinal logistic regression to calculate weighted point estimates and predictors of support for a menthol ban among the adult population and menthol smokers only. For menthol smokers, we also calculated weighted point estimates and predictors of behavioral intentions. Results. Overall, 28.2% of adults opposed, 20.0% supported, and 51.9% lacked a strong opinion about a menthol ban. Support was highest among Hispanics (36.4%), African Americans (29.0%), never smokers (26.8%), and respondents with less than a high school education (28.8%). Nearly 40% of menthol smokers said they would quit if menthol cigarettes were no longer available, 12.5% would switch to a nonmenthol brand, and 25.2% would both switch and try to quit. Conclusions. Support for a menthol ban is strongest among populations with the highest prevalence of menthol cigarette use. A menthol ban might motivate many menthol smokers to quit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e107-e114
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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