African-American Smoking Trend Survey Released By GlaxoSmithKline

As part of its “Stomp Out Smoking in the African-American Community” campaign, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, marketers of Nicorette, NicoDermCQ and Commit, released the findings of a commissioned survey about smoking habits of African Americans at this year’s National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention. Currently, there are more than 4.7 million African-American smokers in the United States, and three in four African-American smokers choose menthol as their cigarettes of choice.

The results from the survey paint a picture of the long held beliefs and contradicting opinions many African Americans have about their smoking habits. It also highlights some plausible reasons why more African-Americans have not been successful at quitting. For example, 56 percent of those interviewed believe cold turkey is the most effective way to quit smoking, but approximately eight out of 10 of the respondents shared that they were unsuccessful quitting. This statistic highlights a knowledge gap in terms of the effectiveness of the “cold turkey” method versus using nicotine replacement therapy. Unaided “cold turkey” cessation fails 97 percent of the time. However, as smokers get older, they acknowledge that “cold turkey” is not the most effective method to use to quit smoking.

“It’s been proven that using nicotine replacement therapy doubles one’s chances of quitting, yet our community is less likely to use them,” said Dr. Albert W. Morris, president, National Medical Association, an organization that serves as the collective voice of physicians of African descent and as a leading force for parity in medicine, elimination of health disparities, and promotion of optimal health. “Public information campaigns like the one we share with GSK Consumer Healthcare — ‘Stomp Out Smoking in the African- American Community’ — and survey findings like these will continue to help raise awareness of the importance of quitting smoking, and at the same time, hopefully decrease health disparities among African Americans.”

Some key findings from the survey include:
– 83 percent of the respondents agree that they are concerned about the health risks of second-hand smoke on their families, but 70 percent continue to smoke around friends or family members.
– 68 percent of adults who believe smoking is unhealthy continue to smoke around their friends and family members.
– 21 percent of the participants say that they have been influenced to quit by the media, illustrating the important role media professionals play in being part of the solution. With that said, men are 80 percent more likely than women to cite that the media has had an impact on their decision to quit smoking.
– Although 88 percent of the respondents are aware of the dangers of lung cancer as a result of smoking, less than 37 percent were aware of other health problems associated with smoking such as heart disease and obstructive lung disease.

“This survey reveals several key factors contributing to the lack of effective smoking cessation in the African American community,” says Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D., smoking cessation and public health expert with specific expertise on substance abuse prevention and treatment in special populations. “Together, we can educate the general public and the medical community about the obstacles we face as African Americans and how to find more effective strategies to help people wipe out smoking for good.”

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare will also be sponsoring a “Don’t Go Cold Turkey Day” of national counseling during the month of November where physicians in cities throughout the country will educate patients on how to be successful at quitting. For more information about GSK Consumer Healthcare and smoking cessation, please visit http://www.way2quit.com.

Via PRNewswire

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