Association Between Any Major Discrimination and Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adult African American Men

Lauren J. Parker, Ballington L. Kinlock, Dakarai Chisolm, Debra Furr-Holden, Roland J. Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Findings from previous research has demonstrated a positive relationship between interpersonal discrimination and cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is proposed to be an externalizing coping mechanism used to alleviate discrimination. At the national level, it is unclear if discrimination is associated with cigarette smoking among African American men. Objective: The aim of the study was to examine the association between discrimination and cigarette smoking among a national sample of African American men. Methods: Using data from the National Survey of American Life (n = 1,271), multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between discrimination and cigarette smoking. Results: Thirty-two percent of the men were current smokers. Controlling for everyday discrimination, major discrimination, major stress, depressive symptoms, age, being married, household income, and education, African American men who experienced major discrimination had a higher odd of being a current smoking (odds ratio: 1.11, 95% confidence interval: 1.02–1.21) than African American men who did not experience major discrimination. Conclusion/Importance: Findings suggest that African American men may use cigarette smoking as a mechanism to alleviate the experiences of discrimination. Future studies should continue to examine factors associated with African American men's smoking behavior in efforts to inform culturally relevant interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1593-1599
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 14 2016


  • Smoking
  • cigarette use
  • discrimination
  • men's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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