Co-occurring vulnerabilities and menthol use in U.S. young adult cigarette smokers: Findings from Wave 1 of the PATH Study, 2013–2014

Andrea C. Villanti, Diann E. Gaalema, Jennifer W. Tidey, Allison N. Kurti, Stacey C. Sigmon, Stephen T. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study incorporates intersectionality theory to address potential effects of age on other documented risk factors for current smoking and menthol cigarette use in young adults aged 18–34 using Wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study (2013–2014). We explored known correlates of current cigarette and menthol cigarette smoking and interaction analyses by age group (18–24 vs. 25–34), accounting for survey weighting. Use of non-cigarette tobacco products and e-cigarettes was characterized among current cigarette smokers. Young adults experience multiple vulnerabilities to smoking beyond age and some of these known risk factors for smoking place those aged 18–24 at different risk of cigarette smoking compared to their 25–34 year old counterparts. These include lower odds of cigarette smoking by age for sex (female; AOR = 0.62 in those aged 18–24 vs. 0.72 in those aged 25–34) and Hispanic ethnicity (vs. White; AOR = 0.77 vs. 0.45), and higher odds of smoking among past 30-day alcohol users aged 18–24 vs. 25–34 (AOR = 1.62 vs. 1.32). Correlations between lower education and smoking were nearly two-fold higher in 25–34 than 18–24 year olds. Having any medical comorbidity had opposite effects on current smoking by age (18–24 positive correlation, AOR = 1.17; 25–34 negative correlation, AOR = 0.84). Lower education was correlated with menthol cigarette use among young adult smokers. This study suggests that higher smoking prevalence among young adults is associated with the intersection of multiple vulnerabilities to smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Health status disparities
  • Smoking
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Tobacco use
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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