Racial/ethnic differences among smokers: Revisited and expanded to help seekers

Monica Webb Hooper, Elizabeth A. Baker, Marcia D. McNutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: Most research on racial/ethnic differences among smokers is outdated and does not focus on help seekers. The purpose of this study was to revisit racial/ethnic differences in variables related to cessation in a sample of smokers enrolled in a randomized trial. Methods: Adult smokers (N = 417; n = 126 White; n = 123 Hispanic; n = 168 Black) completed measures of demographics, smoking history, alcohol use, depressive symptoms, and readiness to quit. Results: We found significant differences in these factors across groups. Blacks were more likely to be older, less educated, single, low income, smoke menthol cigarettes, and report greater nicotine dependence. Hispanics were younger, reported fewer years smoking and cigarettes per day, lower nicotine dependence, preferred mentholated cigarettes, and reported greater alcohol use intensity. After controlling for demographics and smoking history, Blacks reported greater depressive symptoms and lower readiness to quit compared with Whites and Hispanics. Conclusions: Help-seeking Blacks may exhibit more risk factors for difficulty quitting compared with other groups. Hispanics may have some protective factors, such as lower dependence, but require attention to alcohol use and menthol smoking. Identifying preintervention racial/ethnic differences in characteristics related to cessation is important for developing evidencebased and culturally specific interventions and for reducing tobacco-related health disparities

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberntt206
Pages (from-to)621-625
Number of pages5
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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