Does a Race-Gender-Age Crossover Effect Exist in Current Cigarette Smoking Between Non-Hispanic Blacks and Non-Hispanic Whites? United States, 2001-2013
INTRODUCTION: For years, national US surveys have found a lower prevalence of cigarette smoking among non-Hispanic (NH) black adolescents and young adults than their NH white counterparts while finding either similar or higher prevalence in NH blacks among older adults. We present results from four US surveys, including one supplemented by cotinine data, to determine if a race-gender-age crossover effect exists between NH black and NH white current cigarette smokers. METHODS: We present NH black and NH white current cigarette smoking estimates in the National Youth Tobacco Survey (2004-2013), National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002-2013), National Health Interview Survey (2001-2013), and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2012). RESULTS: All surveys consistently found that NH black females aged 12-25 years had a lower smoking prevalence than NH white females of the same age while NH black males aged 26 years or older had a higher smoking prevalence than NH white males of the same age. Results were inconsistent between surveys for current smoking estimates for males 12-25 years and females aged 26 years or older. CONCLUSION: Our results are inconclusive in consistently detecting the existence of a race-gender-age crossover effect for current cigarette smoking between NH blacks and NH whites. National birth cohort studies are better suited to detect a race-gender-age crossover effect in smoking prevalence between these two racial groups.