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Am J Public Health. 1988 September; 78(9): 1187–1189.
PMCID: PMC1349391

Smoking by blacks and whites: socioeconomic and demographic differences.


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.

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Selected References

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  • Garfinkel L. Cigarette smoking and coronary heart disease in blacks: comparison to whites in a prospective study. Am Heart J. 1984 Sep;108(3 Pt 2):802–807. [PubMed]
  • Devesa SS, Diamond EL. Socioeconomic and racial differences in lung cancer incidence. Am J Epidemiol. 1983 Dec;118(6):818–831. [PubMed]
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  • Greenberg RS, Kleinbaum DG. Mathematical modeling strategies for the analysis of epidemiologic research. Annu Rev Public Health. 1985;6:223–245. [PubMed]
  • Cummings KM, Giovino G, Mendicino AJ. Cigarette advertising and black-white differences in brand preference. Public Health Rep. 1987 Nov-Dec;102(6):698–701. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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