Tobacco and Latinos

There are many unique health risks associated with Tobacco and Latinos.

Tobacco Use and Health

  • 14.5 percent of Latino adults are current smokers
  • Tobacco use is an important risk factor for coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among Latino-Americans
  • Lung cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both Latino men and women

Health Risks That May Affect Your Family

  • Partners and children of smokers are more likely to have lung cancer
  • Babies of smokers are more likely to be born premature with low birth weight, cleft lip or palate, and birth defects and may have other health problems
  • Children of smokers are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), have asthma, lung problems and ear infections
  • Children of smokers are more likely to be smokers themselves

Reasons to Quit

It is important to decide for yourself that you want to quit. It is normal to both want to quit and want to continue tobacco use. Many people have mixed feelings before they quit. Consider this list of reasons that might help you quit for good:

  • I will live longer for my family
  • Quitting will lower my chance of having a heart attack, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, stroke and cancer
  • The people I live with, especially my children, will be healthier
  • Quitting will set a good example for my children or grandchildren
  • My doctor recommended that I give up smoking
  • My family will be proud of me

Effective Ways to Quit

Quitting is possible and you can do it! Quitting tobacco can not only benefit your health, but also the health of your loved ones. Involve your family and friends in your quitting plans so they are able to support you through the process.

Whether you smoke regularly, a few cigarettes a day, or just socially, you can quit for good. Call the QuitLine to create your individual quit plan and to stay quit for good all with ongoing support throughout your quit process.


CDC, "Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged 18 Years - United States, 2009," MMWR 59, September 7, 2010,.

HHS, Tobacco Use Among U.S. Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups, Report of the Surgeon General, 1998,

CDC, "Annual Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses - United States, 2000-2004," MMWR 57(45), November 14, 2008,

CDC, Sustaining State Programs for Tobacco Control, Data Highlights, 2006,

HHS, The Health Consequences of Smoking. A Report of the Surgeon General, 2004,

American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures for Hispanics/Latinos 2009-2011, 2009,