Racial and Ethnic Disparities Surrounding Vaping

Dr. Susan McDowell, a family physician at MAHEC, presented on vaping at the virtual Addiction Medicine Conference 2020. We followed up with a participant question about racial and ethnic disparities. Here is her anwer:

Vaping is similar to conventional cigarettes in that it affects ethnic and racial minorities at a higher rate (with the exception of the African American community in which teenagers were more likely to use cigars than e-cigarettes). Highest rates are found in Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. One possible cause is due to targeted advertising put out by big tobacco.”

Dr. McDowell also pointed out that recent federal legislation enacted to address the vaping problem by eliminating flavored products left menthol as a legal flavor for refillable e-cigs. This is expected to disproportionately affect the African American population which uses menthol more than other racial and ethnic groups. 

Dr. McDowell provided the following link that summarizes some of the racial/ethnic disparities in vaping.



We’ll answer more questions from the virtual Addiction Medicine Conference in upcoming newsletters. Be on the lookout!

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