158756 African Americans: NRT or alternative medicine for tobacco cessation

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 3:06 PM

Valerie Yerger, ND, MA , Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
It has been well documented that the health disparities among racial/ethnic groups in the United States are strongly associated with the disproportionate use of tobacco, as well as differences in the appropriateness and accessibility of prevention and treatment. When compared to Caucasians, African Americans, in particular, have a harder time quitting and are more likely to pick up their smoking again once they do quit. In this descriptive, exploratory study, we address one possible cause of African Americans' lower smoking cessation rates by 1) exploring perceived obstacles to the use of conventional nicotine replacement therapies such as the nicotine patch, gum, lozenge or other pharmaceutical aids, and 2) identifying any uses of alternative therapies such as home remedies, prayer and spiritual healing, or relaxation techniques to quit smoking. It has been documented that 71.3% of African Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine to manage their illnesses and symptoms. However, there remains a paucity of evidence on the use of these alternative therapies by African Americans for tobacco cessation. Given the disproportionate burden of tobacco-related diseases that affect African Americans, exploring potential obstacles to their use of conventional nicotine replacement therapy may expose specific barriers interfering with tobacco cessation and sustained abstinence. Furthermore, exploring potential uses of complementary and alternative medicine may offer additional insight on other culturally appropriate interventions that could assist African Americans in their efforts to quit smoking.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe potential obstacles to the use of conventional nicotine replacement therapy by African Americans. 2. Describe how African Americans perceive the effectiveness of the use of alternative therapies for smoking cessation.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.