African American Tobacco Prevention Initiative
Smoking has established itself as a health issue of major concern in the African American community. Currently, about one in five of all African American adults smoke, and about one in ten African American high school students are current smokers. In addition, smoking related illnesses are the number one cause of death in the African American community, surpassing all other causes of death, including Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), homicide, diabetes and accidents.
Despite these high smoking rates among African Americans, research has shown that African American smokers tend to think that smoking is socially unacceptable, and are highly motivated to quit. In fact, 70% of current African American smokers want to quit. Unfortunately, African American smokers face many barriers to smoking cessation, including high levels of nicotine dependence.
Tobacco Use Among African Americans (Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids [CFTFK] Fact Sheet)
Marketing Menthol: The History of Tobacco Industry Targeting of African Americans (CFTFK Fact Sheet)