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More Than Half Of Adults Smoke In West Englewood, Tops List In Study

CHICAGO (CBS) – A new study revealed West Englewood has the highest percentage of adults who smoke out of nine Chicago neighborhoods surveyed.

Smoking statistics were one of several alarming findings in the survey that compared health and safety standards across different parts of the city.

The Sinai Community Health Survey looked at nine Chicago neighborhoods, including Chicago Lawn, Gage Park, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, Norwood Park, South Lawndale, West Englewood and West Town.

West Englewood, on the South Side, topped the list of highest percentage of smokers with more than 51 percent of adults smoking – more specifically 56 percent of males and 47 percent of females smoke.

Humboldt Park, on the Northwest Side, ranked second among the neighborhoods surveyed with 47 percent of males and 35 percent of females who smoke.

Both rates are alarming because only 15 percent of U.S. adults continue to smoke, according to the study, which represents roughly 40 million Americans.

The National Average of African-American smokers is nearly 30 percent. The findings compared smoking with race/ethnicity.

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Percent who currently smoke by community area and sex; by race/ethnicity and sex (Credit: Sinai Community Health Survey)

African American adults surveyed in Chicago were the most likely to smoke, with 49 percent for males and 32 percent for females. Mexican adults surveyed were the least likely, with 19 percent for males and six percent for females.

West Englewood is about 20 percent higher than the national average of African-American smokers.

According to the study, 69 percent of Americans would like to quit. Efforts are increasingly aided by public health campaigns, cessation aids and public policies. The study also looked at the percentage of smokers who were trying to quit by bother community area and race/ethnicity.

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Percent of smokers who were trying to quit (Credit: Sinai Community Health Survey)

Although West Englewood has the highest percentage of current smokers, they also have the highest percentage of smokers who were trying to quit – 76 percent.

In West Town and Gage Park, less than half of smokers were trying to quit.

African-American men ranked the highest for trying to quit with 69 percent and Puerto Rican women ranked the highest with 92 percent. White men and women were the least likely to want to quit smoking.

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., claiming more than 480,000 and contributed to over $320-billion in health care expenditures and productivity losses annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the full Sinai survey here:


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