Tobacco use among minority ethnic populations and cessation interventions

Author(s): Millward, Deborah;   Karlsen, Saffron;  

Briefing series: Better Health Briefing Paper 22

Publisher: Race Equality Foundation

Publication date: May 2011

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   Tobacco use among minority ethnic populations and cessation interventions
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Tobacco usage may be influenced by a number of factors, including socio-economic status, gender, and ethnic or religious background.  While smoking rates have decreased by 7 percentage points amongst the general population since 1998, this pattern has not been reflected among black and minority ethnic communities.  

Minority ethnic groups are also more likely to use tobacco products such as shisha and smokeless tobacco, which may be associated with poorer compliance with and enforcement of regulations on labelling and packaging.  

Outreach work must acknowledge these different products, and adapt to the specific needs of different ethnic groups when planning health services, tackling health inequalities and reducing the burden of ill health from lifestyle-related disease.

Key messages:

  • While smoking rates have decreased within the general population, this pattern does not seem to be reflected among black and minority ethnic communities
  • Lower socio-economic status can influence tobacco usage, which may account for the prevalence of smoking among some minority ethnic groups
  • Use of different tobacco products, including shisha and smokeless tobacco, is more common among minority ethnic groups
  • Compliance with and enforcement of regulations on labelling and packaging of smokeless tobacco products need to be improved to protect minority ethnic communities from the health risks associated with using these products
  • Regulation and cessation outreach work must acknowledge these different products, and adapt to the specific needs of different ethnic groups.

Sections:

  • Smoking among minority ethnic groups
  • Health inequalities
  • Other types of tobacco used by minority ethnic populations
  • Regulation of smokeless tobacco products
  • Tobacco cessation among minority ethnic groups and limitations in current services