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Monday, November 23, 2015

Smoking Rates Remain High With Three Demographics

In the United States, we have made a lot of progress when it comes to tobacco use. The research is conclusive; cigarettes are addictive and have the power to severely harm one’s health - potentially resulting in loss of life. While smoking rates continue to decline across the country, new research suggests that tobacco use remains high with three demographics, ScienceDaily reports. The findings come from a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"We're making great strides, but it's evident that there are large groups of people who continue to struggle with tobacco and the chronic diseases associated with it," said Amy Lukowski, Psy.D., clinical director of Health Initiatives at National Jewish Health in Denver and for its QuitLogix® program, the largest non-profit smoking quitline in the country. "We need to find ways to better reach and serve those vulnerable demographic groups that are disproportionately impacted by tobacco."

The first tobacco use statistics date back to 1965, according to the article. In that year, 42 percent of adults smoked, more than double the amount of adults who smoke today (17.8 percent). The three groups in which smoking rates remain high include:
  • American Indians
  • The LGBT Community
  • People With Mental Health Disorders
"As an academic medical center devoted for decades to eliminating tobacco use and its associated disease states, we feel the imperative to better identify and understand the unique factors related to tobacco use in these groups and develop protocols that are specifically tailored to their needs," said Lukowski. "This is a high priority for us."

The research showed that more than 26 percent of American Indians smoke cigarettes, the article reports. A rate that is much higher than the national average, and the highest rate of any ethnic group. QuitLogix ® at National Jewish Health is the first tobacco quitline in the country to have Native coaches on staff. It is believed that coaches who share the same heritage will be more effective in cessation efforts with Indians.

"Those high rates of tobacco use in these populations are no accident," said Lukowski. "Tobacco companies have identified and targeted these groups as being populations more vulnerable to nicotine addiction and are shrewdly advertising directly to them."

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