Prevalence of Cigarette Use Among 14 Racial/Ethnic Populations—United States, 1999–2001
January 30, 2004 / Vol. 53 / No. 3
- The prevalence of cigarette smoking varied among the racial/ethnic populations, from 40.4% to 12.3%, respectively, among American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and Chinese adults (i.e., aged >18 years), and from 27.9% to 5.2%, respectively, among AI/AN and Japanese youth (i.e., aged 12–17 years).
- Current smoking rates are attributed to multiple factors including socioeconomic status, cultural characteristics, acculturation, stress, targeted advertising, price of cigarettes, parental and community disapproval of smoking, and varying capacities of communities to mount effective tobacco control initiatives.
- Among adults aged 18 years and older, American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) had the highest cigarette smoking prevalence (40.4%).
- Non-Hispanic black adults had a similar prevalence of cigarette smoking (25.7%) than that of non-Hispanic whites (27.4 %).
- The following adult racial/ethnic groups had a lower cigarette smoking prevalence than that of non-Hispanic whites (27.4 %): Chinese (12.3%), Filipino (14.8%), Japanese (19.0%), Asian Indian (12.6%), Mexican (22.8%), Central or South American (21.3%), and Cuban (19.2%).
- Among adults, smoking prevalence varied by gender among all racial/ethnic groups except for American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), Puerto Ricans, and Cubans. Men generally had a higher smoking prevalence than women from the same racial/ethnic group (i.e., Chinese men versus Chinese women, Mexican men versus Mexican women).
- Adult smoking rates also vary among subgroups within the “Asian” and “Hispanic” racial/ethnic categories (i.e., Korean rates higher than Chinese or Asian Indian, Viet Namese rates higher than Chinese, Puerto Rican rates higher than Mexican or Central or South American).
- Among youth ages 12–17 years, American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) had the highest cigarette smoking prevalence (27.9 %), followed by non-Hispanic whites (16.0%).
- The prevalence of cigarette smoking among non-Hispanic white youth was higher (16.0%) than that among non-Hispanic blacks (7.0%), Chinese (5.8%), Filipinos (7.4%), Japanese (5.2%), Asian Indians (8.7%), Viet Namese (6.8%), Mexicans (11.0%), Puerto Ricans (10.8%), and Central or South Americans (9.6%).
- Among non-Hispanic white youth, females had a higher prevalence of cigarette smoking (17.2%) than males (14.9%). Among non-Hispanic black youth, males had a higher prevalence of cigarette smoking (8.2%) than females (5.9%).
Get email updates
To receive email updates about Smoking & Tobacco Use, enter your email address:
- CDC/Office on Smoking and Health
4770 Buford Highway
Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717
TTY: (888) 232-6348