Population Groups and Tobacco Use

Hispanic/Latino Community

While Hispanic smoking rates are low overall, differences exist within Hispanic subgroups that are masked when surveys group Hispanics as a single population. For example, according to combined NHIS data from 2009-2013, 21.6 percent of Puerto Ricans, 18.2 percent of Cubans, 13 percent of Mexicans, and 9.2 percent of Central or South Americans are current smokers (the overall smoking prevalence for Hispanics during this time period was 13.5%) In addition, smoking rates are significantly higher for U.S.-born Hispanics than for foreign-born Hispanics in the U.S. A 2014 study of Hispanics/Latinos in Chicago, Miami, San Diego and the Bronx found current smoking rates as high as 35% among Puerto Rican men (32.6% for women) and 31.3% for Cuban men (21.9% for women) Smoking rates are also higher among Hispanics of lower socioeconomic status.

  • 43,000 Latinos get diagnosed with a form of tobacco-related cancer each year
  • 18,000 Latinos succumb to a type of smoking-related cancer every year
  • Cancer of the lungs is the leading form of cancer among Latino men
  • 50% of Hispanics received smoking cessation advice from their physician, compared to 72% of whites who received the same information

In 2019, the overall current smoking rate for high school students was 5.8 percent. Among Hispanic youth, 3.8 percent of Hispanic high school students were current smokers. Current smoking rates for Hispanic high school students are lower than the rates of White students (9.9%). E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among Hispanic high school students. 23.2 percent of Hispanic high school students currently use e-cigarettes, which is lower than the rate of White students (32.4%), but higher than the e-cigarette use rate for African American students (17.7%). Smokeless tobacco use is lower among Hispanic students (2.6%) than White students (6.5%). Overall, one in four (25.4%) Hispanic high school students are current users of any tobacco product.

For free help quitting smoking and vaping call 1-800-QUIT-NOW from a Nevada area code or
1-855-Déjelo -Ya (1-855-335-3569).


For more information on Hispanic/Latino tobacco use visit our tobacco pages on Vivasaludable.org.

Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Community

Did you know that in comparison to other ethnic groups Hawaiian/ Pacific Islanders have one of the highest smoking rates compared to others.

Sad but true, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Asian Americans/ Native Hawaiian’s and Pacific Islanders. In fact, Hawaiian men and women have the highest rates of lung cancer deaths in comparison to other ethnic groups.

And it’s not just cigarettes. Nationally, the current use of e-cigarettes/ Vapes was highest among native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders at 18%. In Nevada that rate was 30.7%.  It isn’t just adults, according to the National Youth Tobacco Surveys 32.5 % of Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander high school students reported current tobacco use compared with 23% of white high school students surveyed, 15.8% of blacks, 19.6% of Hispanic high school students and 7.4% of Asians.

Furthermore, during 2014–2017, ever-use of any tobacco product among U.S. middle and high school students was as follows: Native Hawaiians/ Pacific Islanders (45.1%), Native American and Alaskan Natives (43.8%), multiracial persons (38.2%), Hispanics (35.1%), blacks (32.3%), whites (32.0%), and Asians (16.3%). Current use of any tobacco product was as follows: Native Hawaiians/ Pacific Islanders (23.4%), Native American and Alaskan Natives (20.6%), multiracial persons (16.5%), whites (15.3%), Hispanics (14.6%), blacks (11.5%), and Asians (5.0%).

To learn more about Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islanders tobacco use visit:

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
808 No Vape
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Article


African American Community

Did you know that 85% of all black smokers use menthol cigarettes. Why… because tobacco companies have a history of targeting the African American community with menthol cigarette advertising. And this is no coincidence.

For years, the tobacco industry has heavily targeted African Americans with menthol cigarette marketing through culturally-tailored advertising images and messages. Their marketing has worked. In the U.S., nearly nine out of 10 black smokers aged 12 years and older prefer menthol cigarettes. In fact, African-American cigarette smokers are nearly 11 times more likely to use menthol cigarettes than white smokers.

There are also more tobacco retailers located in African-American and other minority neighborhoods. And tobacco companies strategically create price promotions, like discounts and multi-pack coupons, which are most often used by African-Americans and other minority groups. Retail outlets in black communities even give menthol cigarettes more shelf space.

Black Lives / Black Lungs is a short film investigating the tobacco industry’s successful infiltration into the black community. Created by filmmaker and progressive communications strategist, Lincoln Mondy. Watch the full 15-minute short film below.

It’s time we reject menthol. For free help quitting smoking and vaping call 1-800-QUIT-NOW from a Nevada area code.

To learn more about African Americans and tobacco use visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

BreakDown – Teen Prevention Program

Recent data indicates that the use of hookah and e-cigarettes is on the rise among teenagers. The “vaping” trend has resulted in many young adults trying tobacco products for the first time, unaware of the health consequences. BreakDown’s goal is to educate teens on the dangers of both hookah and electronic devices.

BreakDown’s youth-led street teams participate in school outreach and teen-focused community events, and use social media to spread awareness.

Learn more about e-cigarette use in middle and high school students.

To learn more, visit www.BreakDownRiseUp.com or call (702) 759-1265.

CRUSH – LGBT Prevention Program

In 2006, the Southern Nevada Health District developed a tobacco prevention program called CRUSH for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. This innovative program was developed after the 2005 Clark County Adult Tobacco Survey revealed an alarmingly high smoking rate among LGBT community members. The LGBT community continues to have disproportionately high smoking rates compared to other groups.

The CRUSH campaign’s numerous outreach strategies include hosting smoke-free LGBT activities, sponsoring community events, and advertising in local LGBT media.

To learn more, visit www.socrush.com or call (702) 759-1265.

XPOZ – Teen Prevention Program

Created in 2000, the Southern Nevada Health District’s XPOZ (pronounced “expose”) tobacco prevention coalition has grown from 30 members (ages 13-17) to over 30,000 in 2016. XPOZ conducts numerous youth tobacco prevention outreach activities and is committed to further reducing tobacco use among Clark County youth who identify with the alternative music scene.

Prior to the development of XPOZ, Clark County youth smoking rates were consistently high at nearly 35%. Since the coalition was formed, youth smoking rates in Clark County have decreased* from 30% in 1999 to just over 3% in 2019.

To learn more, visit www.xpozlv.com or call (702) 759-1265.


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