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Latino Daily News

Tuesday August 16, 2011

Puerto Ricans Smoking Menthol Cigarettes Have Hardest Time Quitting

Puerto Ricans Smoking Menthol Cigarettes Have Hardest Time Quitting

Photo: Puerto Ricans Smoking Menthol Cigarettes Have Hardest Time Quitting

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According to a report published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine, those smoking menthol cigarettes have more difficulty quitting than those who smoke regular cigarettes, with Puerto Rican menthol smokers appearing to have the most difficulty.

The report stated Hispanic smokers in Puerto Rico were 43 percent less likely to quit than non-menthol cigarette smokers. African-American menthol smokers were 19 percent less likely to quit, which is worrisome since 71 percent of black smokers preferred the menthols.

“Historically, smoking cessation research has generally grouped Hispanics together and contrasted them with non-Hispanic whites, thus ignoring the broad heterogeneity of the Hispanic population,” says researcher Cristine D. Delnevo, PhD, MPH, of the Center for Tobacco Surveillance and Evaluation Research at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in a news release. “By further drilling down into these subgroups, the opportunity exists to develop targeted interventions for quit efforts among this population.”

Authors of the report joined the Federal Drug Administration in its push to stop the selling of menthol cigarettes, saying, “Because our evidence suggests that the presence of menthol may partially explain the observed differences in cessation outcomes, the recent calls to ban this flavoring would be prudent and evidence-based.”

Since 2006, menthol cigarettes have made up 20 percent of the U.S. cigarette market, and are said to inhibit nicotine metabolism, allowing the nicotine to remain in the bloodstream longer than non-menthol cigarettes.