RH News : Black Smokers Who Want to Quit Face Greater Odds

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November 15, 2011

Black Smokers Who Want to Quit Face Greater Odds

Can’t stop smoking? Last year, two thirds of cigarette puffers wanted to quit and more than half tried to, but only 6 percent succeeded. What’s more, black smokers were the least successful in laying cancer sticks permanently to rest, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study reported by Time.com.

For the study, researchers looked at data from 2001 to 2010 National Health Interview Surveys of 27,000 Americans ages 18 and older. Scientists defined study participants as “current smokers” if they said they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their entire lives and still smoked. Researchers classified those who reported they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes but no longer smoked as “former smokers.”

Next, scientists asked participants a series of questions about their smoking and quitting history then analyzed the data to determine their attempts to quit and their current interest in quitting. They also looked at people who successfully kicked the habit, and they determined the popularity and effectiveness of various smoking cessation treatments.

Findings showed more than 75 percent of black smokers reported being interested in quitting smoking, compared with 69 percent of white smokers. African-African cigarette users were also significantly more likely to have attempted to quit in the past year and suffered defeat. (African Americans’ stop-smoking success rate was only 3 percent compared with 6 percent for whites and more than 9 percent for Latinos.)

What’s standing in their way? Researchers said that in 2010 African Americans and Latinos were less likely to have received stop-smoking treatments, such as counseling and/or medication. These treatments were found to double or even triple a smoker’s odds of quitting.

“There’s no question, from the basis of dozens if not hundreds of large, very well conducted randomized controlled trials, with thousands of people, that use of medication—and use of counseling at least [for those who seek it]—significantly increases the likelihood of quitting,” said Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.

The good news is that Chantix, a medicine, can help people stop smoking. But the bad news is that it’s associated with dangerous psychiatric side effects, such as suicidal, psychotic or aggressive impulses and behavior.

What’s a smoker’s best bet? To speak with a doctor and weigh the drug’s pros and cons, McAfee said.

Click here for tips to quit smoking and to learn how mentholated cigarette sellers target black youth.

And click here for tools that can help you quit smoking.

Search: smoking, smokers, cigarette, cigarettes, smoke, quit, quitting, National Health Interview Surveys, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, treatments, treatment, Tim McAfee, McAfee, Office on Smoking and Health, Chantix,

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