Navigation Links
Smoking Keeps Its Grip on Urban Poor
Date:10/16/2009

Misconceptions, marketing are boosting rates to double the national average, researchers say

FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A full 42 percent of people in Milwaukee's poorest neighborhoods smoke -- more than twice the national U.S. average -- sacrificing $9 on a pack of cigarettes even while most of the households reported earning less than $15,000 a year.

Even more troubling is the fact that a large number of these low-income smokers hold beliefs that make them less likely to quit, according to ongoing research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Over the past 40 years or so, the overall smoking rate in the United States has decreased to about 20 percent, but those gains have taken place largely among people with resources, namely money and education, said Bruce Christiansen, an associate scientist with the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention in Madison, who is one of the researchers on what's known as the "ZIP Code" project.

"With public health, we got 80 percent of the people who were going to quit smoking to quit smoking. That's great, but the next 20 percent is going to be tough," added Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans. "Smoking tends to be a disease of poverty and lack of education. Thirty years ago, 50 percent of the population smoked and now we're down to roughly 25 percent. What we have left is a very select group of people."

That select group includes people with mental health issues, which, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), smoke 44 percent of all cigarettes.

Not only are these groups often specifically targeted by Big Tobacco, they also tend to reside in areas without extensive health care systems and don't have insurance, Christiansen said.

This study, a partnership between the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the Salvation Army, sent five interviewers door-to-door in two of Milwaukee's poorest ZIP codes.

Interviews were conducted primarily between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays, catching the "poorest of the poor," those who don't work. Many in the group would be hard to capture in a regular survey as they often don't have phones, Christiansen said.

Responses from 654 smokers living in low-income neighborhoods revealed the following:

  • People who smoked thought most other people smoked as well and, when asked, said that 73 percent of adults smoked, way higher than the 20 percent who actually do.
  • Almost two-thirds thought it was okay to smoke as long as it didn't impinge on others.
  • Almost half thought that medications intended to help people quit smoking were actually more dangerous and addictive than cigarettes.
  • More than half (56 percent) had never heard of the free Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line despite efforts to promote the service. In fact, Christiansen noted, some respondents said that going to jail was the best way to quit (at least temporarily).
  • Thirty-eight percent had never actually tried to dispense of the habit. "It was amazing how many people said they hadn't tried to quit," Christiansen said. "They thought that everyone is doing it so it's okay."

Christiansen and his colleagues haven't finished analyzing the results yet but want to take the research a step further. "Can we change beliefs and, if we can change them, does that increase uptake of [quit-smoking] treatment?" he wondered. "Then we'll look at what it takes to change beliefs."

Christiansen's group has started an initiative called "Tobacco-Free Advocates," which trains individuals in the community to bring short (10-minute) messages to local groups.

"They talk about willpower, that it's a muscle you can build, dealing with urges, that medications can give willpower a chance to work," he said. "They're very brief messages. Then we made the advocates available to them."

And when the researchers come across households without any smokers, they offer them a bright green sign to place in the window that says: "Another smoke-free home in this community."

More information

Head to the American Cancer Society for its Guide to Quitting Smoking.



SOURCES: Bruce Christiansen, Ph.D., associate scientist, University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, Madison, Wis.; Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman of hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans; study, University of Wisconsin-Madison (ongoing)


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Smoking may strongly increase long-term risk of eye disease
2. Smoking increases risks for head and neck cancers for men and women
3. Smoking Boosts Risk for Head, Neck Cancers
4. AUDIO from Medialink and Commit Lozenge: Wanna Quit Smoking With Therapeutic Nicotine? Just Follow the Directions
5. Passive smoking increases sleep disturbance among pregnant women
6. Teens who see more smoking in movies may have increased risk of becoming established smokers
7. Smoking in Movies May Put Teens at Risk
8. Test Spots Genetic Damage Done by Smoking
9. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
10. Muslim Groups Kick Off Ramadan With Anti-Smoking Initiative
11. Smoking can harm the long-term effects of some oral surgery procedures
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... a2z, Inc. is pleased ... Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET) will be utilizing powerful and innovative technology ... attendees and exhibitors for the 2016 WOCN Society & CAET Joint Conference—which is ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... Washington Wellness ... well-being for central New Jersey residents. What started out as an idea to ... seeking an integrated approach to healthcare. , Developed by Dr. David Swanekamp, Chiropractic ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... breastfeeding for nursing mothers. The company’s patented technology, The Smart Breastfeeding Meter, is ... company announced that the technology is now available for purchase at Target.com ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Natalie Jill ... local company MitoXcell in preparation of the launch of her new book: Natalie Jill’s ... is a nutritional guide designed to jump start a new healthy lifestyle featuring simple ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... ... Advanced Spine & Sport Medical Rehabilitation Center, which is renowned for its ... seminar on stem cell injections. The seminar is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, from ... Suite 110, Ventura, CA. There are only 10 seats available. , “The purpose ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  As a teenager, an active ... fever, which damaged his heart. He continued enjoying sports ... June 2013, Shepherd,s heart was giving out and he ... June 20, 2013, the Mesa, Arizona ... (TAH-t). Like a heart transplant, the SynCardia TAH-t is ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 3, 2016   Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that it is celebrating Hepatitis ... of two patients who tell their personal story and encourage those at risk to get ... Jacque: Hepatitis C ... ... Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy (PRNewsFoto/Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc.) ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... is excited to announce the launch of its Mediceutical line of products, a line ... variety of clinical conditions. Founded in 2013, Forté spent more than two years researching ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160502/362547LOGO ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: