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African American Health Disparities in Lung Cancer

Pauline M. Green
Suzy Guerrier-Adams
Priscilla O. Okunji
Deborah Schiavone
Joann E. Smith
CJON 2013, 17(2), 180-186 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.180-186

Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and globally. African Americans experience significant differences in lung cancer incidence and mortality. Smoking is the single greatest risk for lung cancer, making smoking cessation programs a potentially fruitful approach for reducing the risk of lung cancer. Despite clinical practice guidelines that prompt nurses to advise patients to quit smoking, only a small percentage of nurses do so. Minority patients are less likely than Whites to receive smoking cessation advice. This article discusses recent findings on the pathophysiology and risks for lung cancer. The literature on smoking cessation research is examined to determine the features of successful cessation interventions. Recommendations are offered for enhancing tobacco cessation efforts in nursing practice, education, and research.


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