A ban on menthol cigarettes in Canada led to a steep increase in the number of smokers who quit, a new study finds. The researchers said a similar ban in the United States would likely have an even greater impact on smoking quit rates.
“The positive effects of the Canada menthol ban suggest that a U.S. menthol ban would lead to greater benefits since menthol cigarettes are much more popular in the U.S.,” researcher Geoffrey Fong of the University of Waterloo said in a news release. “From our findings, we estimate that banning menthol cigarettes in the U.S. would lead an additional 923,000 smokers to quit, including 230,000 African-American smokers.”
Fong surveyed nearly 1,100 non-menthol and 138 menthol smokers in 2016 — before the ban — and in 2018, after the ban was in effect. He found 59% of menthol smokers tried to quit after the ban, compared with 49% of non-menthol smokers. HealthDay reports that 21% of daily menthol smokers quit after the menthol ban, compared with 11% of daily non-menthol smokers.