, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 191-193

Perceptions of Smoking Among African American Light Smokers

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Despite smoking fewer cigarettes per day, African Americans extract more nicotine per cigaretts smoked, and have higher than expected tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. The present study explores perceptions about smoking and motivations for smoking cessation among African American light smokers. Four focus groups consisting of 22 adults were conducted at an inner-city community health center. Participants were recruited through flyers and referral by clinic staff. Two major themes were identified: (1) similar smoking patterns, and (2) perceived differences from heavy smokers. Many participants perceived themselves as addicted to nicotine, experienced withdrawal symptoms with past quit attempts, and are interested in smoking cessation. Perceptions about nicotine addiction, difficulty with quitting, and interest in smoking cessation suggest a need to design and test cessation interventions among this understudied population.