This study was conducted at an inner-city health center that has approximately 200,000 patient visits yearly and mostly serves a low-income, African-American population.
Details about study procedures have been provided elsewhere. Briefly, all surveys were administered by trained study staff during the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm on weekdays from August to November 2000. Patients were invited to participate in a study on smoking among inner-city residents, and the study was not associated with any smoking cessation program. Study eligibility criteria included age >18 years, smoking a cigarette in the last 30 days, and having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in lifetime. Eligible patients had the study procedure explained to them and signed an informed consent. Study protocol was approved by the institution’s Human Subjects Committee. Participants subsequently completed a 186-item survey administered to them by study staff, completed an expired carbon monoxide test, and were compensated $20 for their time. Demographic data collected in the survey included, gender, education, marital status, age, income, and employment status. Smoking characteristics were assessed using measures from previously published NIH-funded studies, the Centers for Disease Control’s Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey, and the California Tobacco Survey. Participants were asked about current smoking rate, age of first cigarette, and when they started smoking regularly. Other questions asked include preferred cigarette brand (menthol or nonmenthol, strength, length, etc.) and how long they have smoked at current rate. Success in past cessation experiences were assessed by asking about participants’ number of lifetime quit attempts, time since most recent quit attempt, duration of most recent, and of longest-ever quit attempts. Readiness to quit smoking was assessed using the transtheoretical stages of change questionnaire. Nicotine dependence was assessed with the six-item Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND). Participants were asked about their level of satisfaction with the flavor of their cigarettes. Response was measured using a 10-point Likert scale with l=unsatisfied to 10=very satisfied. Cigarette tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide content were established based on the 2000 Federal Trade Commission Report data. Questions about illicit drug use were adopted from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Statistical analyses were performed using SAS software (Copyright © 1999-2001 by SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC). Participants were classified as menthol or nonmenthol smokers based on self-reported brand of cigarettes smoked. Categorical variables were summarized with percentages, and continuous variables were summarized by medians because the data was not normally distributed.