Menthol cigarettes, race/ethnicity, and biomarkers of tobacco use in U.S. adults: the 1999-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
ABSTRACT: In the United States, cigarette flavorings are banned, with the exception of menthol. The cooling effects of menthol could facilitate the absorption of tobacco toxicants. We examined levels of biomarkers of tobacco exposure among U.S. smokers of menthol and nonmenthol cigarettes.We studied 4,603 White, African-American, and Mexican-American current smokers 20 years of age or older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 through 2010 and had data on cigarette type and serum cotinine, blood cadmium, and blood lead concentrations. Urinary total 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol) (NNAL) was studied in 1,607 participants with available measures.A total of 3,210 (74.3%) participants smoked nonmenthol cigarettes compared with 1,393 (25.7%) participants who smoked menthol cigarettes. The geometric mean concentrations comparing smokers of nonmenthol with menthol cigarettes were 163.1 versus 175.9 ng/mL for serum cotinine; 0.95 versus 1.02 ?g/L for blood cadmium; 1.87 versus 1.75 ?g/dL for blood lead; and 0.27 versus 0.23 ng/mL for urine NNAL. After multivariable adjustment, the ratios [95% confidence interval (CI)] comparing smokers of menthol with nonmenthol cigarettes were 1.03 (0.95-1.11) for cotinine, 1.10 (1.04-1.16) for cadmium, 0.95 (0.90-1.01) for lead, and 0.81 (0.65-1.01) for NNAL.In a representative sample of U.S. adult smokers, current menthol cigarette use was associated with increased concentration of blood cadmium, an established carcinogen and highly toxic metal, but not with other biomarkers.These findings provide information regarding possible differences in exposure to toxic constituents among menthol cigarette smokers compared with nonmenthol cigarette smokers.
Project description:In contrast to whites, black smokers prefer menthol cigarettes over nonmenthol cigarettes by a large margin and tend to have higher mortality from several smoking-related diseases than whites, raising the possibility that menthol cigarettes contribute to racial disparities in risk. Evidence for differential associations between menthol and nonmenthol cigarettes indicates lower cancer risk for menthol smokers, but for cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, evidence has been inconsistent.Cox proportional hazards models were used to compute hazard ratios and accompanying 95% confidence intervals for all-cause and CVD mortality for menthol compared with nonmenthol cigarette smokers among 65?600 participants in the Southern Community Cohort Study, an ongoing community-based cohort with the largest number of menthol smokers being traced. Among the 27?619 current cigarette smokers, 4224 died during follow-up, with 1130 deaths attributed to CVD. Both all-cause (hazard ratio=0.93; 95% confidence interval=0.86-1.01; P=0.10) and CVD (hazard ratio=0.88; 95% confidence interval=0.76-1.03; P=0.10) mortality risks were similar in menthol compared with nonmenthol cigarette smokers.Smoking regardless of cigarette type is hazardous to health, but these results do not indicate that menthol cigarettes are associated with greater CVD risks than nonmenthol cigarettes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has the authority to regulate tobacco product constituents, including menthol, if the scientific evidence indicates harm. Few studies, however, have evaluated the health effects of menthol cigarette use. OBJECTIVE:To investigate associations of cigarette smoking and menthol cigarette use with all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular risk in U.S. adults. METHODS:We studied 10,289 adults ? 20 years of age who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999-2004 and were followed through December 2006. We also identified studies comparing risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer for menthol and nonmenthol cigarette smokers and estimates were pooled using random-effects models. RESULTS:Fifty-five percent of participants were never smokers compared to 23%, 17% and 5% of former, current nonmenthol and current menthol cigarette smokers, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) for former, current nonmenthol and current menthol cigarette smokers compared to never smokers were 1.24 (0.96, 1.62), 2.40 (1.56, 3.71) and 2.07 (1.20, 3.58), respectively, for all-cause mortality; 0.92 (0.62, 1.37), 2.10 (1.02, 4.31) and 3.48 (1.52, 7.99) for cardiovascular mortality; and 1.91 (1.21, 3.00), 3.82 (2.19, 6.68) and 2.03 (1.00, 4.13) for cancer mortality. Using data from 3 studies of all-cause mortality, 5 of cardiovascular disease and 13 of cancer, the pooled relative risks (95% CI) comparing menthol cigarette smokers to nonmenthol cigarette smokers was 0.94 (0.85, 1.05) for all-cause mortality, 1.28 (0.91, 1.80) for cardiovascular disease and 0.84 (0.76, 0.92) for any cancer. CONCLUSIONS:In a representative sample of U.S. adults, menthol cigarette smoking was associated with increased all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality with no differences compared to nonmenthol cigarettes. In the systematic review, menthol cigarette use was associated with inverse risk of cancer compared to nonmenthol cigarette use with some evidence of an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
Project description:The nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR) has been shown to predict response to the transdermal nicotine patch, such that faster nicotine metabolism is associated with a lower abstinence rate. Menthol cigarette use, versus nonmenthol cigarette use, slows nicotine metabolism and therefore may attenuate the effect of NMR on smoking abstinence. In this study, we evaluated whether cigarette type (menthol vs. nonmenthol) modified the association between NMR and short-term abstinence. This was a secondary analysis examining treatment in the first 8 weeks of 21 mg/day nicotine patch therapy in a completed clinical trial (n = 474). Menthol cigarette use was based on self-report. NMR was defined dichotomously (0 = fast, 1 = slow) to distinguish between fast (?0.47) versus slow NMR. Using logistic regression analysis, we tested whether cigarette type moderated the association between NMR and bioverified 7-day point prevalence abstinence at Week 8. Covariates include nicotine dependence, age, race, and gender. Three hundred two participants reported smoking menthol cigarettes, of which 234 (77%) were classified as slow NMR. Among the 172 nonmenthol smokers, 136 were classified as slow NMR (79%). Contrary to our expectations, the NMR ×Cigarette Type interaction effect on abstinence was not significant (odds ratio [OR] = 0.91, p = .86). Excluding the interaction variable, fast NMR was associated with decreased likelihood of abstinence (OR = 0.55, p = .03), but menthol cigarette use was not (OR = 1.15, p = .56). Further exploration of risk factors among menthol cigarette smokers, especially among racially diverse and light smokers, could clarify the association between menthol cigarette use and poorer smoking outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record
Project description:Purpose:Menthol has been hypothesized to ease the harshness of cigarette smoke. Thus, sensory experiences at first cigarette use may be one mechanism by which menthol facilitates progression to regular smoking. This study examined differences in subjective experiences to the first use of a menthol versus nonmenthol cigarette among new young adult smokers. Methods:Data were drawn from waves 5-8 of the Truth Initiative Young Adult Cohort Study, a national sample of 18-34 year olds assessed every 6 months. Analyses included a subset of young adult current smokers (n = 251) who initiated smoking in the past 6 months. Subjective responses to first cigarette use were assessed across menthol and nonmenthol initiators in bivariate analyses and adjusted models controlling for smoking correlates. Results:Fifty-two percent of new young adult smokers used a menthol cigarette at first use. First use of a menthol cigarette was higher in those aged 18-24 (vs. 25-34). Most black smokers (93.1%) were menthol initiators compared to 43.9% of white smokers. More than half of menthol and nonmenthol initiates felt relaxed or calm, dizzy, lightheaded, liking the taste and a rush or buzz at first use. Menthol initiators were less likely in bivariate and multivariable analyses to experience feeling nauseated at first use (adjusted odds ratio = 0.45; p = .020) compared to nonmenthol initiators. Conclusions:While few differences were found between menthol and nonmenthol initiators in their subjective experiences, fewer menthol initiates felt nauseated at first cigarette use. Future research needs to identify additional mechanisms linking menthol initiation to smoking progression. Implications:Menthol initiators were more likely to be younger (18-24 vs. 25-34), and black (vs. white) compared to nonmenthol initiators. Our finding that menthol initiators were less likely to feel nauseated at first cigarette use compared to nonmenthol initiators suggests that menthol may reduce aversion to early cigarette use among young smokers and thus has the potential to facilitate continued experimentation. Interventions and policy approaches to reduce tobacco use initiation and progression are urgently needed in young people.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to estimate black/white differences in cotinine levels for current smokers of both sexes, and to explore the potential contribution of mentholated cigarettes to these differences. Sera from 255 current smokers sampled from Southern Community Cohort Study participants (65 black men, 65 black women, 63 white men, 62 white women) were analyzed for cotinine, and linear regression was used to model the effect of race on cotinine level, adjusting for the number of cigarettes smoked within the last 24 hours, use of menthol vs. non-menthol cigarettes, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, and age. Black smokers smoked fewer cigarettes than white smokers, yet had crude mean cotinine levels nearly as high or higher than white smokers. After multivariate adjustment, cotinine levels were an average of 50 ng/ml higher among black than white women (p=0.008) and non-significantly 12 ng/ml higher among black than white men (p=0.52). We observed no increase in cotinine levels associated with menthol cigarette use. We conclude that differences in cotinine levels among smokers suggest racial variation in exposure to and/or metabolism of tobacco smoke constituents, but our findings do not support a role for menthol preference in this disparity.
Project description:This is the first study to examine predictors of successful cessation in African American (AA) light smokers treated within a placebo-controlled trial of bupropion.We analyzed data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of bupropion and health education for 540 African American light smokers. African American light smokers (?10 cigarettes per day, cpd) were randomly assigned to receive 150mg bid bupropion SR (n=270) or placebo (n=270) for 7weeks. All participants received health education counseling at weeks 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7. Using chi-square tests, two sample t-tests, and multiple logistic regression analyses, we examined baseline psychosocial and smoking characteristics as predictors of cotinine-verified 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence among study participants at the end treatment (Week 7) and at the end of follow-up (Week 26).Participants who received bupropion were significantly more likely to quit smoking compared to those who received placebo (OR=2.72, 95% CI=1.60-4.62, P=0.0002). Greater study session attendance (OR=2.47, 95% CI=1.76-3.46, P=0.0001), and smoking non-menthol cigarettes increased the likelihood of quitting (OR=1.84, 95% CI=1.01-3.36, P=0.05); while longer years of smoking (OR=0.98, 95% CI=0.96-1.00, P=0.05) and higher baseline cotinine (OR=0.97, 95% CI=0.95-0.99, P=0.002) significantly reduced the odds of quitting at Week 7. Conversely, at the end of follow-up (Week 26), treatment with bupropion vs. placebo (OR=1.14, 95% CI=0.65-2.02, P=0.64) was not significantly associated with quitting and type of cigarette smoked (menthol vs. non-menthol) did not appear in the final logistic regression model. Greater study session attendance (OR=1.96, 95% CI=1.44-2.66, P=0.0001); BMI (OR=1.03, 95% CI=1.00-1.07, P=0.04); and weight efficacy (OR=1.03, 95% CI=1.01-1.05, P=0.01) increased the likelihood of quitting at Week 26. Similar to our findings at Week 7, longer years of smoking (OR=0.96, 95% CI=0.94-0.99, P=0.01) and higher baseline cotinine (OR=0.97, 95% CI=0.95-0.99, P=0.02) significantly reduced the odds of quitting at Week 26.Baseline cotinine levels, number of years smoked and study session attendance are associated with both short- and long-term smoking cessation, while bupropion and the type of cigarette smoked were associated with quitting on short term only.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Non-cigarette other tobacco products (OTP; e.g., cigarillos, little cigars) are typically used in combination with cigarettes, but limited data exists on the tobacco toxicant exposure profiles of dual cigarette-OTP (Cig-OTP) users. This study examined biomarkers of nicotine and carcinogen exposure in cigarette smokers who used or did not use OTP. METHODS:111 Cig-OTP and 111 cigarette only (Cig Only) users who smoked equivalent cigarettes per day were matched on age (< 40, >=40), race (African American, White), and gender. Participants reported past 7-day daily use of cigarettes and OTP and provided urine for nicotine, cotinine, total nicotine equivalents (TNE) and total NNAL concentrations. RESULTS:Cig-OTP users reported greater past 7-day tobacco use (15.9 versus 13.0 products/day, p<0.01) but had significantly lower creatinine-normalized nicotine (606 versus 1301ng/mg), cotinine (1063 versus 2125ng/mg), TNE (28 versus 57 nmol/mg) and NNAL (251 versus 343pg/mg) than Cig Only users (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS:Cig-OTP users had lower levels of nicotine and metabolites of a lung carcinogen relative to Cig-Only users, but concentrations of toxicants among Cig-OTP users were still at levels that place smokers at great risk from the detrimental health effects of smoking. IMPACT:Our study finds that nicotine and carcinogen exposure in Cig-OTP users are lower compared to cigarette only users, but still likely to be associated with substantial harm. A better understanding of why toxicant levels may be lower in Cig-OTP is an important area for future study.
Project description:In the U.S. menthol remains the sole permitted characterizing cigarette flavor additive in part because efforts to link menthol cigarette use to increased tobacco-related disease risk have been inconclusive. To perform definitive studies, cigarettes that differ only in menthol content are required, yet these are not commercially available. We prepared research cigarettes differing only in menthol content by deposition of L-menthol vapor directly onto commercial nonmenthol cigarettes, and developed a method to measure a cigarette's menthol and nicotine content. With our custom-mentholation technique we achieved the desired moderately high menthol content (as compared to commercial brands) of 6.7 ± 1.0 mg/g (n = 25) without perturbing the cigarettes' nicotine content (17.7 ± 0.7 mg/g [n = 25]). We also characterized other pertinent attributes of our custom-mentholated cigarettes, including percent transmission of menthol and nicotine to mainstream smoke and the rate of loss of menthol over time during storage at room temperature. We are currently using this simple mentholation technique to investigate the differences in human exposure to selected chemicals in cigarette smoke due only to the presence of the added menthol. Our cigarettes will also aid in the elucidation of the effects of menthol on the toxicity of tobacco smoke.
Project description:Smokers who have their first cigarette shortly after waking, an indicator of nicotine dependence, have substantially higher cotinine levels. There is controversy regarding the role of menthol in nicotine dependence. We hypothesized that menthol smokers have a shorter time to first cigarette (TTFC), and tested whether any statistical association actually reflects increased dependence by measuring nicotine uptake (e.g. cotinine) in the same group of smokers. A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted that included 495 black and white daily cigarette smokers. Results showed a trend between menthol smoking and a shorter TTFC (P < 0.04 in blacks). Menthol was not an independent predictor of cotinine or an effect modifier with TTFC on cotinine levels in blacks and whites. These results show that while menthol in tobacco is associated with an indicator of nicotine dependence in blacks, menthol was not associated with biological uptake of nicotine in black and white smokers.