THE STUDY Columbia University researchers report that African Americans and Hispanics have a harder time quitting smoking than whites do. After eight weeks of treatment with a combination of bupropion, the nicotine patch and counseling, about 40% of smokers in the minority groups were able to remain smoke-free for four weeks, compared with 60% of the white group.
WHAT THIS MEANS While the study did not explain the results, it did suggest answers. African Americans were less likely to quit if they were of normal weight or lived with other smokers, hinting that their smoking could be related to worries about weight gain or lack of support in quitting. Younger Hispanics were least likely to quit, which suggests that age-specific messages might be helpful.