TitleWidening disparities in cigarette smoking by race/ethnicity across education level in the United States.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsNguyen-Grozavu, FT, Pierce, JP, Sakuma, K-L, Leas, EC, McMenamin, SB, Kealey, S, Benmarhnia, T, Emery, SL, White, MM, Fagan, P, Trinidad, DR
JournalPrev Med
Volume139
Pagination106220
Date Published07/2020
ISSN1096-0260
Abstract
 

Reducing tobacco use is an important public health objective. It is the largest preventable cause of death and disease, yet inequalities remain. This study examines combined educational and racial/ethnic disparities in the United States related to cigarette smoking for the three largest racial/ethnic groups (African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and non-Hispanic Whites). Data included nine Tobacco Use Supplements to the Current Population Surveys (TUS-CPS) conducted in the United States from 1992/1993-2018 for four smoking metrics: ever smoking rates, current smoking rates, consumption (cigarettes per day), and quit ratios. Across all TUS-CPS samples, there were 9.5% African Americans, 8.8% Hispanics/Latinos, and 81.8% non-Hispanic Whites who completed surveys. Findings revealed that lower educational attainment was associated with increased ever and current smoking prevalence over time across all racial/ethnic groups, and education-level disparities within each race/ethnicity widened over time. Disparities in ever and current smoking rates between the lowest and highest categories of educational attainment (less than a high school education vs. completion of college) were larger for African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites than Hispanics/Latinos. Non-Hispanic Whites had the highest cigarette consumption across all education levels over time. College graduates had the highest quit ratios for all racial/ethnic groups from 1992 to 2018, with quit ratios significantly increasing for Hispanics/Latinos and non-Hispanic Whites, but not African Americans. In conclusion, educational disparities in smoking have worsened over time, especially among African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. Targeted tobacco control efforts could help reduce these disparities to meet public health objectives, although racial/ethnic disparities may persist regardless of educational attainment.

DOI10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106220
Alternate JournalPrev Med
PubMed ID32693179
Grant ListR01 CA234539 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States