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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Disparities in Adult Cigarette Smoking — United States, 2002–2005 and 2010–2013.

Thursday, September 8, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Martell BN, Garrett BE, Caraballo RS.  
Disparities in Adult Cigarette Smoking — United States, 2002–2005 and 2010–2013.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:753-758.
Although cigarette smoking has substantially declined since the release of the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health,* disparities in tobacco use exist among racial/ethnic populations (1). Moreover, because estimates of U.S. adult cigarette smoking and tobacco use are usually limited to aggregate racial or ethnic population categories (i.e., non-Hispanic whites [whites]; non-Hispanic blacks or African Americans [blacks]; American Indians and Alaska Natives [American Indians/Alaska Natives]; Asians; Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders [Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders]; and Hispanics/Latinos [Hispanics]), these estimates can mask differences in cigarette smoking prevalence among subgroups of these populations. To assess the prevalence of and changes in cigarette smoking among persons aged ≥18 years in six racial/ethnic populations and 10 select subgroups in the United States,† CDC analyzed self-reported data collected during 2002–2005 and 2010–2013 from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) (2) and compared differences between the two periods. During 2010–2013, the overall prevalence of cigarette smoking among the racial/ethnic populations and subgroups ranged from 38.9% for American Indians/Alaska Natives to 7.6% for both Chinese and Asian Indians. During 2010–2013, although cigarette smoking prevalence was relatively low among Asians overall (10.9%) compared with whites (24.9%), wide within-group differences in smoking prevalence existed among Asian subgroups, from 7.6% among both Chinese and Asian Indians to 20.0% among Koreans. Similarly, among Hispanics, the overall prevalence of current cigarette smoking was 19.9%; however, within Hispanic subgroups, prevalences ranged from 15.6% among Central/South Americans to 28.5% among Puerto Ricans. The overall prevalence of cigarette smoking was higher among men than among women during both 2002–2005 (30.0% men versus 23.9% women) and 2010–2013 (26.4% versus 21.1%) (p<0.05). These findings highlight the importance of disaggregating tobacco use estimates within broad racial/ethnic population categories to better understand and address disparities in tobacco use among U.S. adults.

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