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Study: Racial Disparities in Smoking Cessation April 30, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL ERICA CLINE AT 706/828-2225.

STUDY: RACIAL DISPARITIES IN SMOKING CESSATION

AUGUSTA, GA. – (May 5, 2008) – A new study from the American Cancer Society finds black and Hispanic smokers are less likely than whites to receive and use smoking cessation advice and aids. The study, published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, also finds men and those without a usual source of medical care were less likely to be screened for tobacco use and receive advice to quit.

There is strong evidence that interventions, ranging from a health care worker’s brief advice to quit to extensive counseling and the use of pharmaceutical and behavioral adjuncts, can considerably improve cessation rates in smokers. Smoking is associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and is an important contributor to inequalities in health.

University Hospital, which provides smoking cessation counseling to 100 percent of heart attack and congestive heart failure patients, also provides instructors for the American Cancer Society’s Fresh Start Smoking Cessation Program.

Sheila Kamath, clinical coordinator for University’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, said nicotine is a contributing factor to heart disease for those who smoke. “It affects the pleasure center of the brain, but it has exactly the opposite effect,” she said. “It raises blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.”

For more information about the Fresh Start Smoking Cessation Program at University Hospital, call 706/774-8900.

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