According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking cigarettes results in more than 443,000 premature deaths in the United States each year. For African American men, tobacco related disease is a primary source of death. Recent studies show that "alternative" tobacco products may have replaced cigarettes store as the most common products used by young African Americans.

Even though tobacco-related disease is higher in African American adults, tobacco use among young African American teenagers is lower than those reported for whites. However, the statistic changes in early adulthood. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a study conducted between 2002 and 2005 showed that 29.7 percent of white males 18 years of age and older reported smoking cigarettes cigarettes in the past 30 days, as compared to 33.6 percent of African American men.

Cigarettes were the most common product ever used, at 54 percent, and currently used, at 39.9 percent. The study found that those who attended school for 12 years or attended religious services were less likely to use cigarettes. Next most commonly used was marijuana, blunts, and mini-cigars. Only 8.9 percent of the participants currently used mini-cigars. Rarely used were products like, bidis/kreteks, smokeless tobacco, and pipes.

"Tobacco-related disease disparities are magnified in the rural counties of the Black Belt region in rural Alabama. The Black Belt counties are named for the rich dark soil that supported the agricultural industry of an earlier era. These counties are predominantly African American, among the poorest counties in the U.S., and are characterized by striking health disparities when compared to the remainder of the state and the nation as a whole,” William Carroll, M.D., the study’s author, was quoted saying.

The authors note that the use of discount cigarette online in rural Alabama far exceeds the measure statewide for African American men of the same age. They stress that effective community based intervention must target cigarette initiation, and ultimately end in this vulnerable population.

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