Outreach within the african-american community

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if they smoke, African Americans usually smoke fewer cigarettes and start later in life, yet are more likely to die from smoking-related diseases than white people.

In Nebraska, nearly 22 percent of African American adults are smokers, compared with nearly 15 percent of white adults.

the menthol issue

African American smokers are three times more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than white smokers (a little more than 75 percent of African American smokers choose menthol). The American Lung Association reports the menthol in cigarettes as been shown to make it easier to start smoking and harder to quit.

Studies have found menthol cigarettes are marketed to African American communities more heavily than in white communities – and the cigarettes are even less expensive there.

secondhand smoke exposure

As a reminder, no levels of secondhand smoke are safe. Unfortunately, African American children and adults are more likely than any other racial or ethnic group to be exposed to secondhand smoke. Nearly half of African American nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, and a shocking seven in 10 children are susceptible.

wanting to quit

The good news is that studies have shown most African American adult cigarette smokers want to quit, and many have tried. In fact, nearly 73 percent of African Americans want to quit compared with 67 percent of white smokers. Unfortunately, African Americans are often less successful at quitting than white or Hispanic smokers.