Racial, ethnic disparities in US anti-smoking efforts | Inquirer Technology

How white smokers benefited most from US anti-smoking efforts — study

/ 05:45 PM December 03, 2020

20201203 Racism anti-smoking efforts

In the U.S., long-term data shows racial and ethnic disparities in the effectiveness of anti-smoking measures. Image: IStock/ LumineImages via AFP Relaxnews.

Studying data spanning more than 25 years, researchers from Oregon State University have found racial and ethnic disparities in the effectiveness of anti-smoking measures in the United States. The analysis suggests that tobacco control efforts have disproportionately benefited white smokers compared to smokers of African American, Asian or Hispanic origin.

The research, published in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal on Nov. 16, looked at cigarette use and the effectiveness of anti-smoking measures among defined racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. The researchers studied data comparing cigarette use among African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indian/Alaskan Natives and non-Hispanic whites, as these were the racial and ethnic groups delineated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.


The scientists looked at certain behavioral changes, such as the number of cigarettes smokers said they consumed per day, how many days they smoked, how many people started smoking for the first time, and how many people successfully kicked the habit. They then compared the results for each group in the U.S. as a whole with each group’s results in California, a state that is considered to be at the forefront of legislation and intervention to cut down on tobacco use.


Cigarette use drops overall but disparities remain

The data first showed that the number of cigarettes smoked per day dropped considerably between 1992 and 2019 by around 30% across all the racial and ethnic groups studied. The Oregon State University team pointed out that this drop was even greater in California.

However, the groups did not appear to be equal when considering the effectiveness of anti-smoking measures. The experts found that the reduction in cigarette use was highest for non-Hispanic whites, indicating that the tobacco control policies implemented over the last 25 years have benefited this group more than others.

“We can see dramatic decreases among white populations. But when you start looking at racial and ethnic groups, and examining more closely the different cigarette use behaviors, it gives us clues as to where the disparities exist and where we can do better to target our public health efforts,” said Kari-Lyn Sakuma, the study’s lead author.

When considering possible explanations for these differences, the researchers point out that tobacco companies have poured large sums of money into advertising and marketing their products specifically in low-income neighborhoods, as well as African American and Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.

“In other communities, there’s other things that they need to fight for. While one community may have the task force and resources to create policies to reduce advertising around schools, other folks in lower-income areas are fighting for their schools to remain open. It’s a difference in ability to address these issues,” said Sakuma. CC



Smoking causes lung cancer, but so does eating grilled meats 

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Secondhand smoke at home in childhood may be associated with poorer midlife cognitive function

TOPICS: Oregon State University
TAGS: Oregon State University

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.