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Racial Disparities in Smoking-Attributable Mortality and Years of Potential Life Lost—Missouri, 2003–2007

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November 26, 2010 / Vol. 59 / No. 46

MMWR Introduction

This report compares the public health burden of smoking among whites and blacks in Missouri by estimating the number of smoking-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost during 2003–2007. The findings indicate that the average annual smoking-attributable mortality rate in the state was 18% higher for blacks (338 deaths per 100,000) than for whites (286 deaths per 100,000). The difference in smoking-attributable mortality rates between blacks and whites was larger for men (28%) than women (11%). For Missouri, these estimates provide an important benchmark for measuring the success of tobacco control programs in decreasing the burden of smoking-related diseases in these populations and reaffirm the need for full implementation of the state's comprehensive tobacco control program.