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This Surgeon General's report on tobacco use summarizes current information on risk factors and patterns related to tobacco use among members of four major racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States: African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics. In addition, this report presents information on national and regional efforts to curtail consumption of tobacco products among members of these four groups.This report was produced with the assistance of experts in the behavioral, epidemiological, medical, and public health fields. Initial background papers were produced by more than 25 scientists who were selected because of their expertise and familiarity with the topics in this report. This report contributes essential knowledge that must be incorporated into efforts to accomplish the Healthy People 2000 objectives. This report also responds to the need to thoroughly analyze the smoking-related health status of racial/ethnic groups and to determine if there is a differential risk for tobacco addiction. In addition, this report is needed to document how patterns of health, disease, and illness among people in the various racial/ethnic minority groups differ from patterns in the rest of the U.S. population.The information summarized in this report reflects the role of race, ethnicity, and culture in shaping tobacco use among members of the four population groups. Unfortunately, currently available methods do not help delineate the role of acculturation, socio-economic conditions, and societal problems such as racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Efforts are made in the report to discern the possible role of these variables in explaining tobacco use among racial/ethnic minority group members.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health