Thirty-five years ago in 1977, the smoking rates for Blacks and Whites in the United States were essentially equal. That year, 36.7 percent of African Americans reported that they had smoked a cigarette over the past 30 days. The smoking rate for whites was 38.3 percent.
A new study by researchers at the University of Michigan finds that smoking rates for all races have declined significantly, but more moreso for Blacks than for Whites. In 2011, only 9.7 percent of African Americans reported smoking cigarettes over the past 30 days. For Whites, the rate was 22.2 percent.