Quitting Smoking More Difficult for Blacks, Hispanics: Study
Quitting smoking is a difficult task for almost anyone. For Hispanics and blacks, it may be even harder to give up cigarettes.
Columbia University researchers have found that minority smokers had less success with various smoking cessation treatments than whites, and while the exact reason for this isn't known, the scientists were able to identify some common factors that may explain the difference.
According to a university news release, 559 smokers were used for the study -- 360 were white, 126 black and 73 Hispanic. The participants were given eight weeks of treatment using three widely accepted stop-smoking methods: buproprion (Zyban), the nicotine patch, and individual counseling.
During the last four weeks, about 60 percent of the white participants were able to stop smoking, compared to 41 percent of the Hispanic group and 38 percent of the blacks, the researchers found.
The scientists weren't able to determine an exact cause for the differences, according to study author, Lirio Covey, associate professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center. But there were some common factors among study participants, she added.
"In order for successful smoking cessation to occur, treatment must be tailored to specific population groups based on better knowledge of these groups," Covey said in the news release.
"In African-Americans, quitting occurred less frequently among participants with lower body mass index and a household member who smoked," the university news release said. "For Hispanics, age was a significant predictor in that those who were older were more successful at quitting." The findings are published in the winter edition of the journal Ethnicity & Disease.
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