The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new information on the disparities in smoking rates among racial and ethnic groups in the United States. According to the report, despite a decline in cigarette smoking rates in adults since 1964, there are disparities in Native American, Alaska Natives, Korean, and Puerto Rican Americans.

“Even though the overall cigarette-smoking rate is declining, disparities remain among racial and ethnic groups and within subgroups,” said Bridgette Garrett, PhD, associate director for health equity in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Looking beyond broad racial and ethnic population categories can help better focus the strategies that we know work to reduce tobacco use among sub-groups with higher rates of use.”

The study found:

  • Among Whites, current cigarette smoking prevalence was 27.7 percent in 2002-2005 and 24.9 percent in 2010-2013.
  • Among Blacks, current cigarette smoking prevalence was 27.6 percent in 2002-2005 and 24.9 percent in 2010-2013.
  • Among American Indians/Alaska Natives, current cigarette smoking prevalence was 37.1 percent in 2002-2005 and 38.9 percent in 2010-2013.
  • Among Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders, current cigarette smoking prevalence was 31.4 percent in 2002-2005 and 22.8 percent in 2010-2013.

“We know smoke-free policies, hard-hitting media campaigns, higher prices for tobacco products, and promotion of cessation treatment in clinical settings are proven to reduce tobacco product use,” Corinne Graffunder, DrPH, MPH, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said. “If fully implemented and enforced, these strategies could help reduce tobacco use, particularly among racial and ethnic populations with higher rates of use.”

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