Although Blacks smoke in numbers somewhat similar to other demographic groups, they see higher death rates.
Smoking causes 80 percent of deaths from lung cancer among African Americans, the third largest killer among Blacks after heart disease and stroke, which can also be caused by smoking, according to a 2012 report from the American Cancer Society.
The average incidence rate of lung and bronchial cancer is 23 percent higher for Black men than White men, and the average death rate is 28 percent higher, the same study found.
“We smoke just about the same rate as the national average, slightly higher among African-American males, but our lung cancer rates and dying rates are almost three times as much,” Delmonte Jefferson, the executive director of the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN), told Al Jazeera.
“We need to start talking about what we need to do to address these disparities. Education and information are very important,” Jefferson added.