A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows overall declining rates of smoking among American adults. However, aggregate data may not not always accurately represent reality for some racial and ethnic sub-groups.
For example, the study shows the lowest smoking rates overall among Asians at 10.9%, but noted the prevalence of cigarette smoking ranged at about 7.6 percent among Chinese and Asian Indians to 20.0 percent among Korean Americans. American Indian/Alaska Native populations had the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking at 38.9 percent. And among Hispanics, current cigarette smoking prevalence was 23.9 percent, with the lowest rates were found among Central or South American (15.6 percent) and the highest rates among Puerto Ricans (28.5 percent).
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, responsible for more than 480,000 premature deaths annually. Understanding higher rates of tobacco use across and within racial/ethnic population groups and using strategies known to work is an important step in addressing differences in tobacco use among adults.