Tobacco and Americans

Tobacco and African Americans

  • About 176,000 African Americans live in Washington, representing 3.3 percent of the state’s population.
    Washington State Yearbook, 1995
  • In Washington state, 32.8 percent of African American adults smoke. Almost all of them – 86.2 percent – have tried to quit. Nationally, 33 percent of black men and 34 percent of black women smoke.
    Current Population Survey, 1994
  • The rate of all kinds of cancer among African Americans has increased 66 percent between 1957 and 1987 – mainly due to lung cancer. During that same 30 years, the rate of lung cancer among black men increased by 259 percent and quadrupled for black women.
    American Cancer Society, “Cancer Facts and Figures for Minority Americans,” 1991
  • Smoking rates among African-American teenagers have sharply dropped while white teenagers are still smoking at high rates. In 1976, according to a federal survey of high school seniors nationwide, 29 percent of white teens smoked and 27 percent of the African- American teenagers smoked. In 1993, 23 percent of white teenagers smoked, compared to only 4 percent of black teenagers.
    “Trends in Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Adolescents, 1974 Through 1991,” American Journal of Public Health, January 1995
  • Although the smoking rate for African American teens dropped dramatically between 1974 and 1991, the trend is reversing. More and more kids and teens are smoking in the 1990s – an increase found across all class and racial lines. Smoking among eighth-graders increased 30 percent between 1991 and 1994, from 14.3 percent in 1991 to 18.6 percent in 1994. Among high school seniors, the smoking rate began rising in 1992, from 27.8 percent to 31.2 percent in 1994.
    University of Michigan, “Monitoring the Future” survey, July 1995; and “Trends in Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Adolescents, 1974 Through 1991,”American Journal of Public Health, January 1995
  • The tobacco industry donates hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to African American community groups. In 1987, the United Negro College Fund received $267,000 from RJ Reynolds, $120,000 from Philip Morris and $32,000 from Brown & Williamson.
    APF Reporter, Spring 1988; “Targeting the African American community” Kaiser Family Foundation, 1991
  • Black and Hispanic neighborhoods had significantly more tobacco and alcohol ads than white or Asian neighborhoods. Tobacco billboards were most common in black neighborhoods – appearing at 2.4 times the citywide rate.
    Schooler and Basil study, 1990, Surgeon General’s report
  • Black smokers are more likely to buy mentholated cigarettes than are white smokers (75 to 23 percent). Cigarette companies target African American audiences with mentholated cigarette advertisements.
    “African Americans and Smoking,” Center for Disease Control, 1990
  • In Washington state, 54.5 percent of African American adults say it’s easy for kids to buy tobacco in their community. About 86 percent of black adults surveyed said tobacco ads should be restricted or not allowed at all. More than half said tobacco companies should not be allowed to distribute free samples, and 33 percent said the practice should be resticted.
    Current Population Survey, 1994
  • In Washington, 21 percent of African American women smoked during pregnancy. Overall, 23 percent of Washington women smoked during pregnancy. Nationally, maternal smoking is highest among white mothers, who smoke at a rate of 21 percent, compared to black mothers at 15.9 percent. Hispanic and Asian mothers smoke at an even lower rate of 7 percent, and less, respectively.
    Washington State Department of Health, “Health Data Report on People of Color,” 1992; National Center for Health Statistics

Tobacco and Hispanics

  • About 284,000 Hispanics live in Washington state, representing 5.3 percent of the state’s population.
    Washington State Yearbook, 1995
  • In Washington state, 26 percent of Hispanic adults smoke. Two-thirds of them (67.4 percent) have tried to quit.
    Current Population Survey, 1994
  • After nearly a decade of decline, smoking among all races of kids and teens is increasing. Smoking among eighth-graders increased 30 percent between 1991 and 1994, from 14.3 percent in 1991 to 18.6 percent in 1994. Among high school seniors, the smoking rate began rising in 1992, from 27.8 percent to 31.2 percent in 1994.
    University of Michigan, “Monitoring the Future” survey, July 1995; and “Trends in Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Adolescents, 1974 through 1991,” American Journal of Public Health, January 1995
  • Among teens in grades 9-12, 8 percent of Hispanic males and 5.7 percent of Hispanic females report frequent smoking.
    American Lung Association, July 1995
  • In Washington state, 61.5 percent of Hispanic adults say it’s easy for kids to buy tobacco in their community. Only 19.4 percent say it’s difficult.
    Current Population Survey, 1994
  • Hispanic and black neighborhoods had significantly more tobacco and alcohol ads than white or Asian neighborhoods. Tobacco billboards were most common in black neighborhoods – appearing at 2.4 times the citywide rate.
    Schooler and Basil study, 1990, Surgeon General’s report
  • The National Association of Hispanic Publications reports that 350 Hispanic newspapers receive about 20 percent of their ad revenues from alcohol and tobacco companies.
  • In Washington, 80 percent of Hispanic adults believe tobacco ads should be restricted or not allowed at all. Only 7.5 percent say ads should not be restricted.
    Current Population Survey, 1994
  • Nationally, maternal smoking is highest among white mothers, who smoke at a rate of 21 percent, compared to black mothers at 15.9 percent. Hispanic and Asian mothers smoke at an even lower rate of 7 percent, and less, respectively.
    National Center for Health Statistics
  • In Washington, just 7.5 percent of Hispanic mothers smoke through pregnancy. Overall, 23 percent of Washington women smoke during pregnancy.
    Washington State Health Department, “Health Data Report on People of Color,” 1992

Tobacco and Native Americans

  • Some 92,000 Native Americans live in Washington, representing 1.7 percent of the state’s population .
    Washington State Yearbook, 1995
  • Some 42.2 percent of Native American men and 54.1 percent of Native American women smoke. In addition, 14.6 percent of Native American men used smokeless tobacco, according to a survey by the Indian Health Service in 1989.
    Washington State Tobacco Prevention and Control Community Assessment, October, 1992
  • Nationally, 30 percent of Native American men and 30 percent of Native American women smoke.
    National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Current Population Survey
  • A 1987 survey of 1,189 sixth, ninth and 11th graders in three Washington school districts found that 34 percent of Native American boys and 24 percent of Native American girls used smokeless tobacco products. In comparison, 20 percent of white boys and 4 percent of white girls used smokeless tobacco.
    Washington State Tobacco Prevention and Control Community Assessment, October, 1992
  • Nationally, smokeless tobacco use by Native American youth on reservations is higher than that of other groups. There is evidence of early, frequent and heavy use of snuff and chewing tobacco by Native American children.
    Schinke, et al 1989, Surgeon General’s report, 1994; and Schinke, 1987
  • After nearly a decade of decline, smoking among all races of kids and teens is increasing. Smoking among eighth-graders increased 30 percent between 1991 and 1994, from 14.3 percent in 1991 to 18.6 percent in 1994. Among high school seniors, the smoking rate began rising in 1992, from 27.8 percent to 31.2 percent in 1994.
    University of Michigan, “Monitoring the Future” survey, July 1995; and “Trends in Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Adolescents, 1974 Through 1991,” American Journal of Public Health, January 1995
  • In Washington, almost a third of Native American women smoke during pregnancy. Overall, 23 percent of Washington women smoke during pregnancy.
    Washington State Health Department, “Health Data Report on People of Color” 1992
  • Smoking rates for Native-American men are over 50% higher than rates among men in other racial or ethnic groups.
    National Health Interview Survey, 1994

Tobacco and Asian Americans

  • Almost 284,000 Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders live in Washington state, representing 5.3 percent of the state’s population.
    Washington State Yearbook, 1995
  • There are 50,000 Southeast Asian immigrants in Washington. In this group, 42.5 percent of men smoke, a rate 1.6 times greater than the prevalence of smoking of all men in Washington (25.5 percent), and 5.7 percent of women smoke, one quarter the rate of all women in Washington.
    “Topics in Minority Health,” MMWR, Nov. 13, 1992
  • Nationally, 22 percent of Asian American men and 11 percent of Asian American women smoke.
    National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, U.S. Current Population Survey
  • After nearly a decade of decline, smoking among all races of kids and teens is increasing. Smoking among eighth-graders increased 30 percent between 1991 and 1994, from 14.3 percent in 1991 to 18.6 percent in 1994. Among high school seniors, the smoking rate began rising in 1992, from 27.8 percent to 31.2 percent in 1994.
    University of Michigan, “Monitoring the Future” survey, July 1995; and “Trends in Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Adolescents, 1974 Through 1991,” American Journal of Public Health, January 1995
  • Smoking rates are highest in urban areas, regardless of sex, education, age, and race.
    Dept. of Health and Human Services, “Prevalence of Smoking – Missouri, 1989-1991,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, July 7, 1995
  • In Washington, just 9 percent of Asian American women smoke through pregnancy. Overall, 23 percent of Washington women smoke during pregnancy. Nationally, maternal smoking is highest among white mothers, who smoke at a rate of 21 percent, compared to black mothers at 15.9 percent. Hispanic and Asian mothers smoke at an even lower rate of 7 percent, and less, respectively.
    Washington State Health Department, “Health Data Report on People of color,” 1992; National Center for Health Statistics
  • The Asian American Health Forum in San Franciso reports that awareness of the health risks associated with smoking is minimal in Asia and among Asian immigrants to the U.S. who do not read English. For example, a 1990 survey of adult foreign and American-born Chinese in Oakland, California, found that 40 percent didn’t knw that smoking causes lung cancer.
    The Washington Post, July 16, 1991; and Asian Health Services Survey, 1990
  • While the smoking rate is about 25 percent within the United States, the rate is more than 75 percent for men in some Asian countries. The largest markets for U.S. tobacco products include Japan, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia.
    Global Trade Information Services, 1994
  • Richard Peto, an epidemiologist at Oxford University, has predicted that because of increased tobaccco consuption in Asia, the annual worldwide death toll will more than triple over the next two or three decades, from about 3 million a year to 10 million a year, a fifth of them in China. He projects that in China, 50 million children alive today will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases.
    New York Times, May 15, 1994
  • Lung cancer rates are very low among Japanese and Filipino Americans and slightly lower among Chinese Americans than white or black Americans. These rates directly reflect smoking behaviors, and will change as minorities adapt or discard smoking practices.
    Cancer Facts and Figures for Minority Americans 1991