Smoking cessation among African Americans: what we know and do not know about interventions and self-quitting

Prev Med. 2000 Jul;31(1):23-38. doi: 10.1006/pmed.2000.0669.


Background: Many studies on cessation interventions and self-quitting have been conducted, but few have focused on African Americans. The purpose of this review was to critically evaluate the available studies and make recommendations for future research.

Methods: Articles published from 1988 to 1998 were collected using Medline and other data bases, as well as personal communication. Studies were divided into two categories: evaluations of specific cessation interventions and examinations of self-quit behaviors and related factors. Studies were tabulated using author/year, study design/sample size, variables/results, and comments.

Results: In the intervention studies, church-based programs may provide an effective location for cessation interventions, but the studies to date did not demonstrate unequivocal effectiveness. In clinic programs, there do not appear to be any interventions that are particularly effective. In community-based interventions, there were no differences for African and Caucasian Americans. With regard to self-quitting, sociodemographic variables were similarly related to cessation as in the general population, as were smoking history variables. All other categories did not contain enough information for firm conclusions to be drawn.

Conclusions: There are some interventions that appear to be useful, but little information is available on self-quitting. More research is needed on the natural history of quitting, on the social norms for smoking among African American groups, and on the conceptual dimensions of race in the context of this research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Preventive Medicine / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking Cessation / ethnology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology