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Factors Associated with Use of Menthol Cigarettes among Current Smokers in Korean University Students and Male Workers
Journal of the Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 2016; 7(2): 74-83
Published online July 15, 2016
© 2016 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Heejin Kimm1, Jooeun Jeon1, Ji-hyeon Kim1,2, Sun-min Kim1,2, Sungkyu Lee3, Eun Chang Choi4, Sun Ha Jee1*

1Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, Institute for Health Promotion, Graduate School of Public Health, 2Department of Biostatistics and Computing, Graduate School, Yonsei University, 3National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency, 4Graduate School of Law, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
Received May 17, 2016; Revised June 20, 2016; Accepted June 25, 2016.

Background: Mentholated cigarettes have similar risk with non-mentholated ones and facilitate initiation of smoking by decreasing the harshness, particularly in adolescents. However, menthol use pattern in Korean smokers has not known well.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, questionnaires were collected between April-May 2015 among male workers in 3 health check-up centers (n=400) and university students from 14 universities (n=2,174). Current smokers (128 workers, 473 students) were analyzed.

Results: A total of 220 (36.6%) participants, 42.0% of the students (37.6% of men, 66.2% of women, P竊0.0001) and 16.4% of the workers were menthol cigarette users. In the 18-21 years age group, 48.3% of men, 65.5% of women were menthol users. In the 22-24 group, 31.8% of men and 71.4% of women used mentholated cigarette usually. The numbers decreased in over 25 years age groups. After adjustment for age, smoking amount, sex, inhalation depth, nicotine dependence, intention to quit tobacco, wheezing, cough, and use of e-cigarette, odds ratio (OR) to use menthol cigarette in 22-24 group and 18-21 group referred by 40 and older age group was 2.1 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1-4.0) and 3.4 (95% CI 1.8-6.6), respectively. OR was higher in women (2.4, 95%CI 1.3-4.4) and lower in group with daily smoking amount more than 10 cigarettes, OR 0.5 (95%CI 0.3-0.7).

Conclusion: Young age group and women were associated with mentholated cigarette use among current smokers. Fast expansion of menthol cigarette implies the necessity of survey in adolescents and development of appropriate regulatory policy in Korea.

Keywords : Flavoring agents; Tobacco product; Tobacco; Menthol; Government regulation
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