Mentholated smoking is higher among lesbian, gay and bisexual cigarette smokers

Compared to heterosexual smokers, menthol cigarette smoking is higher among lesbian, gay and bisexual cigarette smokers, according to a study by Rutgers, particularly among bisexual and lesbian / gay cigarette smokers.

The study, published in the journal Nicotine and tobacco research, examined national data from 2015 to 2019 on people aged 18 and over by sex and gender identity and found that among smokers, 54 and 50% of bisexual and lesbian / gay smokers preferred menthol cigarettes , respectively, against 39% of smokers. globally.

This study follows plans by the US Food and Drug Administration to ban menthol cigarettes; a decision that the researchers say is necessary given the popularity of menthol among vulnerable populations, including young smokers and black smokers.

Much research shows that bisexual women report disproportionately high rates of substance use, including smoking. Our study confirms that this is also the case for menthol cigarettes. Given what we know about the impact of menthol on initiation, nicotine addiction, and quitting success, these high rates of menthol consumption among bisexual smokers can exacerbate smoking disparities. “

Ollie Ganz, senior author and instructor at the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies

Future studies are needed, researchers say, to inform targeted interventions to prevent menthol smoking initiation and promote smoking cessation among lesbian, gay and bisexual smokers, as well as to examine the impact of smoking cessation. possible ban on menthol, such as the one proposed by the FDA, on this population.


Journal reference:

Ganz, O., et al. (2021) Smoking and the role of menthol in inequalities in tobacco use among sexual minorities. Nicotine and tobacco research.

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