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.