Cigarette smoking among low-income African Americans: a serious public health problem

Am J Prev Med. 2005 Oct;29(3):218-20. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2005.05.004.


Background: This study examines the current prevalence of cigarette smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked in a community-based sample of 1021 low-income African-American men and women.

Methods: Participants were selected using a two-stage, area probability sample design. Data were collected in 2002-2003 in face-to-face interviews and analyzed in 2005. All data and analyses were weighted to account for the complex sampling design.

Results: Fifty-nine percent of men and 41% of women were current smokers, with younger individuals apparently initiating smoking at an earlier age than older individuals.

Conclusions: The high prevalence of cigarette use provides further evidence that the excess burden of tobacco-related disease among low-income African-American families may be on the rise. This is of great concern, and if confirmed by further research, indicates an urgent need for preventive intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Michigan / epidemiology
  • Poverty*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Urban Population