Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Preventive Medicine Reports 5 (2017) 160–165


Open Access Article


The study examined racial/ethnic differences in smokers' intentions to quit smoking within the next 6 months. The sample included 20,693 current non-occasional smokers in the U.S.who responded to the 2010–2011 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The rates of intention to quit within 1 month were significantly higher for non-Hispanic (NH) Black (21%; OR=1.44, CI=1.24–1.67) and Hispanic (21%; OR=1.42, CI= 1.20–1.68) than for the NH Whites (NHW, 15%). The rates of intention to quit within 6 months were significantly higher for NH Blacks (46%; OR=1.35, CI=1.18–1.55) than for NH Whites (39%) and significantly lower for NH American Indians/Alaska Natives (38%; OR= 0.54, CI= 0.33–0.90) and NH Asians (39% OR= 0.55, CI = 0.35–0.86) than for NH multiracial (53%) smokers. Most disparities existed even after adjusting for smoking-related and socio demographic factors. For most racial/ethnic groups, non-daily smoking and doctor's advice to quit were positively associated with the odds of intending to quit. For each racial/ethnic group, having a longer quit attempt in the past 12 months was positively associated with the odds of intending to quit. For NH Whites, NH Blacks, and Hispanics, the specific differences between racial/ethnic groups also depended on getting a doctor's advice, education, and survey mode. Although a smoker's intention to quit may not necessarily lead to immediate smoking cessation, the lack of intention may drastically delay smoking cessation. The study highlights the importance of accounting for racial/ethnic disparities when designing and implementing interventions to motivate smokers to quit and aid smoking cessation.

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