Introduction: This study examined in youth (12–17 years), young adults (18–24 years), and adults (25+ years): (1) the prevalence of the first menthol cigarette and menthol/mint cigar use among new tobacco users; (2) association between the first menthol/mint use, subsequent tobacco use, and nicotine dependence ~1 year later compared with the first non-menthol/mint use. Aims and Methods: Longitudinal analysis of data from Waves 1 to 4 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study (2013–2017; 10 086 youth and 21 281 adults). Main outcome measures were past 12-month and past 30-day cigarette and cigar use, and nicotine dependence. Results: Youth and young adult new cigarette users are more likely to smoke a menthol cigarette or indicate that they do not know the flavor compared with adults aged 25+. A greater proportion of adults aged 25+ first used menthol/mint-flavored cigars (13.4%) compared with youth (8.5%) and young adults (7.4%). Among young adults, first use of a menthol cigarette is associated with past 12-month use of cigarettes at the subsequent wave and first use of any menthol/mint-flavored cigars is associated with past 30-day use of these products at the subsequent wave in both youth and young adults. In youth and adults, there were no significant relationships between first use of a menthol/mint cigarette or cigar and nicotine dependence scores at a subsequent wave in multivariable analyses. Conclusions: The first use of menthol/mint cigarettes and cigars is associated with subsequent cigarette and cigar use in young people aged 12–24. Implications: This study examined the relationship between initiation with menthol cigarettes and menthol/mint cigars, subsequent tobacco use, and nicotine dependence in US youth, young adults, and adults who participated in Waves 1–4 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study. New use of menthol cigarettes was associated with greater past 12-month cigarette use in young adults and new use of menthol/mint-flavored cigars was associated with greater past 30-day cigar use in youth and young adults compared with non-menthol use. Initiation with menthol/mint cigarette and cigar products may lead to subsequent use of those products.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health