Weight and smoking cessation among low-income African Americans

Kathryn I. Pollak*, Rebecca J. Namenek Brouwer, Pauline Lyna, Babafemi Taiwo, Colleen M. McBride

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Concerns about weight gain have been a commonly cited barrier to cessation among white, affluent, female populations, but less is known about this relationship among minority smokers and those with low incomes. Although smoking cessation is strongly encouraged for this population, it often leads to weight gain. Cultural differences in weight standards and the high prevalence of weight-related health conditions (e.g., hypertension and diabetes) may influence concerns about smoking cessation-related weight gain. Methods: A secondary analysis of low-income African-American smokers (n=367) from a randomized intervention trial was conducted to explore the association of weight concerns with comorbidities and smoking cessation. Results: Less than one quarter of participants were considered concerned about weight, defined as having high general concern about weight and high expectation of post-cessation weight gain. Those for whom weight gain could be riskiest - obese participants - were least concerned about gaining weight. Further, weight concerns were not associated with successful smoking cessation, quit attempts, confidence in quitting, or desire or readiness to quit. Conclusions: Because post-cessation weight gain may be a serious health threat for this population, but weight gain was not a concern for these smokers, smoking-cessation interventions for low-income African-American smokers may need to incorporate weight-gain education and prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-139
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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