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African Americans and Smoking
At a Glance

Source: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Public Health Service, National Center for Chronic Disease
Prevention and Health Promotion,
Office on Smoking and Health.


Cigarette Smoking
Prevalence

Smoking rates among black adults are higher than those for whites, even though the pattern of decline in smoking rates is similiar for both groups.

Cigarette Smoking Behavior


Prevalence of Other Forms of Tobacco Use


(18 years of age and over, 1987)

Cigarettes are the most popular tobacco product among blacks, as they are among the general population. However, blacks do use other forms of tobacco. (3)

Use of chewing tobacco and snuff varies significantly by race and sex.(3)


Smoking and Occupational Status

In examining smoking and the workplace, researchers have found a link between smoking behavior and occupations.


For more information, write to.,
Office on Smoking and Health
Centers for Disease Control
Mail Stop K-50
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30333

Health Consequences

Black Americans suffer from smoking-related diseases at a higher rate than whites.(8,9)

 

Blacks experience excessive mortality for many tobacco-related cancers.

In 1988, nearly 48,000 black Americans died from smoking-attributable causes-these are deaths that could have been prevented.(10) (Table 3)

The rate of smoking-attributable deaths is higher among blacks than among whites (Table 4) .


Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL)


Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control report that black Americans have not only a higher death rate from cigarette smoking than do whites, but have a greater loss of productive years of life.

Blacks tend to become ill from smoking at younger ages than do whites.(11)

In 1988, blacks lost an estimated 268,437 years of potential life to age 65 due to smoking. Whites lost an estimated 913,943 years.(10) (Note: The U.S. Census reported that black Americans comprised 12% of the total population in 1990).

Although whites lost more years in total, the rate of smoking attributable YPLL (before age 65 per 100,000 persons is greater than or equal to 35 years age) for blacks (2,472) was twice that for whites (1,225). (10)

Smoking and Pregnancy


Smoking and Youth

Every day more than 3,000 American teenagers become regular smokers-that's more than 1 million annually. Most regular smokers start in their teens.(1) However, this trend is more dominant among white teenagers.

References

1. Office On Smoking and Health. Reducing the health consequences of smoking: 25 years of progress. A report of the Surgeon General. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office on Smoking and Health, 1989. DHHS publication no. (CDC)89-8411.

2. Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. National Institute on Drug Abuse, National house-hold survey on drug abuse: population estimates 1988. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, 1989. DHHS publication no. (ADM)89-1636.

3. Schoenborn CA, Boyd G. Smoking and other tobacco use: United States, 1987. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Center for Health Statistics, 1987. DHHS publication no. (PHS)89-1591. (Vital and health statistics, series 10, no. 169).

4. Office On Smoking and Health. Adult use of tobacco, 1986. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office on Smoking and Health, 1989. DHHS publication no. (OM)90-2004.

5. Centers for Disease Control. Cigarette brand use among adult smokers-United States, 1986. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1990; 9:665, 671-673. 

6. National Health Interview Survey, 287, Office on Smoking and Health, unpublished data.

7. Office On Smoking and Health. The health consequences of smoking: cancer and chronic lung disease in the workplace. A report of the Surgeon General. Washington, D.C.: U.S. apartment of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office on Smoking and Health, 1985. HHS publication no. (PHS)85-50207.

8. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, prevention profile 1989. Hyattsville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 1990. DHHS publication no. (PHS)90-1232.

9. National Institutes of Health. Cancer statistics review 1973-87, surveillance, epidemiology, and end results report (SEER), 1978-81. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Cancer Institute, 1990. NIH publication no. (NIH)90-2789.

10. Centers for Disease Control. Smoking-attributable mortality and years of potential life lost-United States, 1988. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1990; 40:62-71.

11. Centers for Disease Control. Smoking-attributable mortality and years of potential life lost-United States, 1984. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 1987; 36:693-697.

12. Niswander KR, Gordon M. The women and their pregnancies. The collaborative perinatal study of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 1972. DHEW publication no. (NIH)73-379.

13. Mosher WD, Pratt, WF. Fecundity, infertility, and reproductive health in the United States, 1982. Washington, D.C.: Public Health Service, Government Printing Office, 1988. National Center for Health Statistics, 1988. DHHS publication no. (PHS)88-1591. (Vital and Health Statistics, series 2, no. 106).

14. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Monitoring the Future Project, 1989, Office On Smoking and Health, unpublished data.

15. Office On Smoking and Health. The health benefits of smoking cessation. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office on Smoking and Health, 1990. DHHS publication no.(CDC)90-8416.

16. Fiore MC, Novotny TE, Pierce JP, Hatziandrea EJ, Patel KM, Davis RM Trends in cigarette smoking in the United States: the changing influence of gender and race. Journal of the American Medical Association 1989; 261:49-55.

17. Davis, RM. Current trends in cigarette advertising and marketing. New England Journal of Medicine 1987; 316:725-732.

18. Cummings KM, Giovino G, Mendicino AJ. Cigarette advertising and racial differences in cigarette brand preference. Public Health Reports 1987; 102:698-701.

19. Federal Trade Commission. Report to Congress for 1987 pursuant to the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Federal Trade Commission, 1989.

20. McMahon ET, Taylor PA. Citizens' action handbook on alcohol and tobacco billboard advertising. Washington, D.C.: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1990.

21. Ramirez A. A cigarette campaign under fire. New York Times. 1990 Jan 12: Dl,D4.

22. California Department of Health Services. Tobacco use in California 1990: preliminary report documenting the decline of tobacco use. San Diego: University of California, 1990.

23. Marcus M, Glick D, Lewis SD. Fighting ads in the inner city: a grassroots baffle against 'minority marketing'. Newsweek. 1990 Feb 5:46.