Knowledge about smoking, reasons for smoking, and reasons for wishing to quit in inner-city African Americans

Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, Ken Resnicow, W. Scott Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. - To determine knowledge about smoking, reasons for smoking, and reasons for wishing to quit and the association of these variables with abstinence at ten weeks and six months. Design. - Descriptive study and longitudinal intervention. Setting. - Inner-city public hospital clinics. Participants. - 410 African-American cigarette smokers interested in quitting were surveyed at baseline and subsequently enrolled into a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of the transdermal nicotine patch. Main outcome measures. - Descriptive information about smoking knowledge, reasons for smoking, and reasons for wishing to quit, and association of these variables with abstinence at 10 weeks and 6 months. Results. - Among the 410 patients randomized, mean age was 48 years, 61% were female, 41% had less than a high school education, 51% had an annual household income less than $8,000, and the average number of cigarettes smoked a day was twenty. The average number of questions answered correctly was nine out of eleven (84%). The most cited reason for smoking was relaxation/tension reduction and the least cited were stimulation and handling of the cigarette. Ninety-nine percent of patients stated they wished to quit for health reasons. Knowledge, reasons for smoking, and reasons for wishing to quit were not significantly associated with 10-week or 6-month abstinence. Conclusions. - In this group of inner-city African-American smokers, knowledge about cigarette smoking was high. Reasons for smoking were related to relaxation, craving, and pleasure, and reasons for wishing to quit were largely health-related. Knowledge, reasons for smoking, and reasons for wishing to quit were not associated with 10 week or 6 month abstinence. Since knowledge about smoking is already high, future efforts should be directed at promoting cessation through proven behavioral and pharmacological approaches, rather than didactic patient education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-393
Number of pages9
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998

Keywords

  • African American
  • Inner-City
  • Knowledge
  • Smoking
  • Smoking Cessation

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