Cigarette smoking among Native Americans has seen a high rate in the nation, despite a significant decline in overall adult cigarette smoking since 1964, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released Thursday. Certain racial and ethnic groups continue to smoke cigarettes at higher rates than others, the report said.
The rate of smoking among Native Americans and Alaska Natives grew from 37.1 percent between 2002 and 2005 to 38.9 percent between 2010 and 2013, the report published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) said. Between 2002-2005 and 2010-2013, smoking rates fell from 28 percent to 25 percent for whites and blacks.
"Even though the overall cigarette smoking rate is declining, disparities remain among racial and ethnic groups and within subgroups," Bridgette Garrett, associate director for health equity in CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, said. "Looking beyond broad racial and ethnic population categories can help better focus the strategies that we know work to reduce tobacco use among subgroups with higher rates of use."
The overall smoking rate for Asian-Americans fell from 14.5 percent to 11 percent, with lower smoking rates among groups including Asian Indians, Chinese and Japanese. Filipinos, Vietnamese and Koreans all had higher smoking rates.
U.S. Hispanics saw a drop in overall smoking, from 24 percent to 20 percent. But, the latest numbers showed a big difference in the rates of smoking among Hispanic-American groups. Within that group were Central or South American (15.6 percent in 2010-2013), Mexican (19.1 percent in 2010-2013), Cuban (19.8 percent in 2010-2013) and Puerto Rican (28.5 percent in 2010-2013), the report said.
“We know smoke-free policies, hard-hitting media campaigns, higher prices for tobacco products, and promotion of cessation treatment in clinical settings are proven to reduce tobacco product use,” Corinne Graffunder, Dr.P.H., director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said. “If fully implemented and enforced, these strategies could help reduce tobacco use, particularly among racial and ethnic populations with higher rates of use.”