African Americans

Know the Facts

Smoking cigarettes puts you at risk for heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death for African Americans in the United States.

  • About 1 in 7 (14.9%) non-Hispanic Black adults in the U.S. smokes cigarettes.*

For More Information

Real Stories: African Americans Featured in Tips®

Learn the real stories of African Americans who are suffering from smoking-related diseases and disabilities, and the family members who take care of them.

Learn more about all Tips® participants in our Real Stories section.


Geri M., age 58, smoked menthol cigarettes and was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at age 44. She would get easily winded, and at age 54, she had to quit working as a mail carrier because it was too taxing on her health.

“If I can help even one person to quit, then I’ve turned my curse into a blessing.”

Today I start my quit journey. Free resources provided by

Quitting Help

To get started right now, see our How to Quit Smoking area featuring a Quit Guide.

Get free help to quit smoking by calling a quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).Quitline coaches can answer questions, help you develop a quit plan, and provide support.

Quit-smoking treatments may be free or reduced in price through insurance, health plans, or clinics.

State Medicaid programs cover quit-smoking treatments. While the coverage varies by state, all states cover some treatments for at least some Medicaid enrollees.

Medicare currently covers two quit attempts per year and up to four face-to-face counseling sessions per attempt.

*Tobacco Product Use Among Adults – United States, 2019. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2020.