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Ann Behav Med. 1997 Summer;19(3):301-13.

Minority women and tobacco: implications for smoking cessation interventions.

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  • 1Brown University School of Medicine, USA.


Quitting smoking is the single most important preventive health behavior a woman can perform to significantly reduce her chances of morbidity and premature mortality. Minority women are an extremely important population to target for smoking cessation intervention. Rates and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and cancer are markedly higher among women of certain minority groups. In addition, smoking prevalence rates in women of some ethnic groups are elevated relative to the majority population of women, and specific groups have displayed slower rates of decline in smoking. Furthermore, minority women tend to have less access and appear to be less responsive to smoking cessation programs aimed at the majority culture. Thus, consideration of the practical and cultural needs of ethnic minority women is imperative when designing smoking intervention programs. This article describes the smoking behaviors of African-American, American Indian and Native Alaskan, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Hispanic women smokers, in order to gain a greater understanding of the treatment needs of these women. Information on prevalence rates and smoking patterns, barriers to quitting, and findings from intervention studies within each population are reviewed as well as recommendations for smoking cessation treatment.

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