African Americans; Smoking; Public Health; Leadership


Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


Great racial disparities exist in smoking and related health outcomes in the United States. African American (AA) smokers start smoking later and smoke less than white smokers but are less likely to quit. In 2008, the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health funded the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN) to focus tobacco control leadership, expertise and promotion in the AA community. In 2012, NAATPN sought to determine significant outcomes of tobacco control efforts impacting Black and AA communities by conducting a qualitative document search and series of interviews with experts in the field. Thirteen identified outcomes were categorized into five broad classifications: 1) Menthol: Emergence of menthol as a focus for advocacy, policy and research; 2) Policy and Legal: Public policy and legal action aimed at reducing tobacco usage and consumption; 3) Advocacy: Focus on national networking to facilitate growth of local, organic, and grassroots capacity in AA communities; 4) Diversity: Emergence of diversity and inclusivity as values and principles used in shaping/driving policy, advocacy, and outreach; and 5) Cessation: Creation of a cessation guide for the AA community. The identified outcomes can be used by public health practitioners in furthering their efforts to address and reduce tobacco use disparities in the AA community.