Smoking reduction practices among African American smokers

Kolawole S. Okuyemi, Kimber P. Richter, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, Michael C. Mosier, Niaman Nazir, Ken Resnicow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Despite smoking fewer cigarettes per day than Caucasians, African Americans bear a disproportionate share of health consequences of smoking. Because the risk of many tobacco-related diseases is dose-dependent, smoking reduction has been suggested as a method to reduce harm for smokers. Little information exists about behavioral smoking-reduction strategies and whether such strategies result in smoking fewer cigarettes. We conducted a survey of 484 African American smokers classified as occasional, light, moderate, and heavy smokers. The survey examined sociodemography, smoking characteristics, and eight smoking reduction strategies, including intentional limiting of smoking, smoking less than half of a cigarette, setting a daily limit for smoking, changing cigarette brand, reducing number of cigarettes, smoking only on some days, switching to a lighter tar cigarette, and not inhaling deeply. Compared to moderate and heavy smokers, occasional and light smokers were more likely to have engaged in most of these strategies. Smokers who used ≥4 strategies on average smoked 11 cigarettes per day (cpd), compared to 14 cpd and 18 cpd for those who used 1 to 3 strategies and no strategies respectively (p < .0001). After analyses controlled for age, gender, and education, the number of smoking reduction strategies utilized was a significant predictor of smoking 10 or fewer cigarettes per day. This study provides evidence that African American smokers who engaged in multiple smoking reduction strategies smoked fewer cigarettes per day. Smokers not interested in quitting but willing to reduce their smoking should be encouraged to utilize a variety of smoking reduction strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S167-S173
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 2002


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