Smoking Rate Among U.S. Blacks, Whites About Equal in 2001, CDC Report Finds
The smoking rate among black men in the United States has decreased to about the same rate as that among white men for the first time, according to a CDC report released Thursday, AP/Long Island Newsday reports. The report found that 27.7% of black men and 25.4% of white men smoked in 2001, compared with 35% of black men and 27% of white men in 1991. The report does not indicate the cause of the decrease in the smoking rate among black men, but CDC officials said that surveys conducted in the 1990s found that smoking was unpopular among black youths. Dr. Corinne Husten, medical officer in the CDC Office of Smoking and Health, said, "African-American youth viewed smoking as a 'white thing.' There were strong parental messages not to smoke" (Yee, AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/9). The report also found that the smoking rate among U.S. adults decreased for the fourth consecutive year through 2001. In 2001, about 22.8% of U.S. adults smoked, a decrease from 23.3% in 2000 and 25% in 1993, and about 42.2 million U.S. adults smoked every day or some days in 2001, the report found. Public health groups attribute the decrease in the smoking rate among U.S. adults to a "surge in public-awareness campaigns" and higher cigarette prices, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. However, Danny McGoldrick, research director for the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, said, "This rate will not get us anywhere near where we need to get if we want to achieve the savings in health problems and health care costs that are associated with smoking." Public health and anti-tobacco groups hope to reduce the smoking rate among U.S. adults to 12% by 2010 (Blackwell, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 10/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.