Objectives: This study was undertaken to explore smoking patterns and attitudes that influence smoking cessation and relapse among African Americans.
Methods: Baseline data from eight Community Intervention Trial for Smoking Cessation (COMMIT) sites were analyzed.
Results: Compared with Whites, African Americans who smoke less than 25 cigarettes per day were 1.6 times more likely to smoke within 10 minutes of awakening (a behavioral indicator of nicotine dependence), adjusting for education, age, and gender (OR = 1.2 for heavier smokers). African Americans reported a stronger desire to quit smoking and reported serious quit attempts in the past year. African Americans favored tobacco restrictions (they were 1.8 times more likely than Whites to view smoking as a serious community problem, 1.7 times more likely to favor restrictions on cigarette vending machines, and 2.1 times more likely to prohibit smoking in their car). African Americans were lighter/moderate, menthol smokers.
Conclusions: African Americans find smoking socially unacceptable and are strongly motivated to quit, but their "wake-up" smoking may indicate high nicotine dependence, making abstinence difficult even for lighter smokers.