FRIDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Rising cigarette prices and
other economic and social factors led to the sharp drop in smoking
that occurred among black youth between the 1970s and 1990s, U.S.
In the early 1970s, smoking rates among black and white youth
were similar and began to decline in both groups around 1976.
However, the drop was much sharper among black youth. By the early
1990s, white students were more than four times more likely than
black students to report having smoked cigarettes within the
previous 30 days.
This study concluded that racial differences in parental
attitudes, religious ties, negative health concerns and
experiences, worsening poverty, increased food stamp use, and
rising cigarette prices are the major reasons for the more rapid
decrease and continuing lower rate of smoking among black youth
compared to those in other racial/ethnic groups.
"Some have suggested that African American youth substituted other forms of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs for cigarettes," study corresponding author Tyree Oredein, a doctoral student at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Public Health, said in a university news release.
"However, there was an overall decline in the use of both licit and illicit drugs among black high school seniors from the mid 1970s through the early 1990s alongside the fall of cigarette use," said Oredein, who is also an adjunct professor of health and nutrition sciences at Montclair State University.
The findings suggest that increases "in cigarette price due to
increased federal and state excise taxes have become and continue
to be an effective tool in reducing cigarette use, especially
[among] African American youth," the researchers noted.
The study was published in the Aug. 18 online edition of the
American Journal of Public Health.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
youth and tobacco.