Students at Black Colleges Are Drinking Less Alcohol and Smoking Fewer Cigarettes

According to the annual survey of college freshmen conducted by the the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, students at black colleges party less, drink fewer alcoholic beverages, and are less likely to smoke cigarettes than college students generally. The percentage of freshmen at black colleges who drink beer is at its lowest level in 40 years. Freshman students generally are more than three times as likely to drink beer as freshmen at black colleges.

Wine and liquor consumption at the black colleges also has dropped significantly in recent years. After a spike in the rate of smoking cigarettes during the 1990s, today only a very small percentage of first-year students at black colleges smoke, about one third the rate for freshman students of all races. Perhaps the huge escalation in cigarette costs and taxes is having a disproportionate effect on black freshmen who are less able to afford the cost of smoking.