Academic Study Finds Racial Differences in Smoking Behavior

no-smokingA new study led by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health documents racial differences in smoking behavior. The study found that African American are less likely than Whites to begin smoking in their teen years when most people who smoke start their habits. But, Blacks are less likely than Whites to quit smoking once they get older. As a result, for those who do smoke, Blacks tend to have a longer average duration of exposure to the harmful effects of tobacco use.

Theodore Holford, the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Public Health and the lead author of the study, stated that “racial differences in smoking initiation, cessation, and intensity give rise to substantial differences in risk for tobacco-related diseases. Further research is needed to quantify these effects for specific diseases, but this study shows that commonly used measures may give rise to disparities in access to lifesaving interventions.”

The article,Comparison of Smoking History Patterns Among African American and White Cohorts in the United States Born 1890 to 1990,” was published on the website of the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. It may be accessed here. Researchers from Georgetown University and the University of Michigan participated in the study.


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  1. Jack says:

    African-Americans are plaqued by stress throughout their lives. So, it comes as a no surprise, when they do start smoking, they maybe less likely to weaned off the habit because cigarette smoking simply relieves stress.

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