Introduction: Limited research exists examining the prevalence of intermittent (nondaily) and light daily (1-5 cigarettes/day) smoking across racial/ethnic groups in the United States using nationally representative data. These analyses would be informative in guiding targeted cessation strategies. Methods: Using logistic regression models controlling for age, gender, and education, we examined the prevalence of intermittent and light daily consumption among current smokers across racial/ethnic groups from the 2003 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey. We also examined the association of these demographic factors with consumption within each racial/ethnic group separately. Results: Black (odds ratio [OR] = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.59-2.07), Asian/Pacific Islander (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.29-2.04), and Hispanic/Latino (OR = 3.2, 95% CI = 2.75-3.74) smokers were more likely to smoke intermittently compared with non-Hispanic Whites. Black (OR = 2.69, 95% CI = 2.27-3.18), Asian/Pacific Islander (OR = 2.99, 95% CI = 2.13-4.19), and Hispanic/Latino (OR = 4.64, 95% CI = 3.85-5.58) smokers also were more likely to have light daily consumption compared with non-Hispanic Whites. Hispanic/Latino intermittent smokers smoked fewer days per month and fewer cigarettes per day compared with non-Hispanic White smokers. We found no significant gender differences across racial/ethnic groups in intermittent smoking, but male smokers were significantly less likely to have light daily consumption for all racial/ethnic groups. Discussion: These results have implications for the understanding of the tobacco dependence, the development of prevention and cessation strategies, and the applicability of harm-reduction techniques for racial/ethnic minorities.
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