Background: Young adults are at high risk for using flavored tobacco, including menthol and underrepresented populations, such as Latino and African American young adults, are at particular risk. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to identify sociodemographic correlates of menthol use among young adult smokers and examine the potential role of experienced discrimination in explaining any associations. Methods: We conducted a probabilistic multimode household survey of young adults (aged 18–26) residing in Alameda and San Francisco Counties in California in 2014 (n = 1,350). We used logistic regression to evaluate associations between menthol cigarette use and experienced discrimination among young adult smokers as well as with respect to sociodemographic, attitudinal, and behavioral predictors. Interactions between experienced discrimination and race/ethnicity, sex and LGB identity were also modeled. Results: Latino and non-Hispanic Black young adult smokers were more likely to report current menthol use than non-Hispanic Whites, while those with college education were less likely to do so. Experienced discrimination mediated the relationship between race and menthol use for Asian/Pacific Islander and Multiracial young adult smokers with odds of use increasing by 32 and 42% respectively for each additional unit on the experienced discrimination scale. Conclusions/Importance: Latino and African American young adult smokers have disproportionately high menthol use rates; however, discrimination only predicted higher use for Asian/Pacific Islander and Multiracial young adult smokers. Limits on the sale of menthol cigarettes may benefit all nonwhite race/ethnic groups as well as those with less education.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health