Smoking by blacks and whites: socioeconomic and demographic differences

Am J Public Health. 1988 Sep;78(9):1187-9. doi: 10.2105/ajph.78.9.1187.


Using data from the 1985 National Health Interview Survey for persons aged 25-64 years, we controlled simultaneously for socioeconomic status (SES), demographic factors, and race in multivariate logistic regression analyses. We found that the odds of ever smoking are not higher for Blacks compared with Whites, when the other variables are controlled. By contrast, the odds of heavy smoking for Blacks are far less than for Whites, while Blacks are significantly less likely than Whites to quit smoking regardless of SES or demographic factors. Smoking cessation and prevention programs must be planned with these behavioral, SES, and demographic differences in mind.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Educational Status
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Whites*