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Cigarette Smoking & Alcoholic Beverage Consumption Prevalence
Los Angeles County and California

Adult Cigarette Smoking Prevalence in Los Angeles County, 1999

Race/Ethnicity Male Female
All Groups 22.1% 14.2%
White 23.0% 18.9%
Latino 21.7% 8.7%
African-American 21.8% 21.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander 22.1% 8.8%

In 2000, 18.1% of adults were smokers as compared to 21.8% of adults in 1990. That equated to about 250,000 fewer smokers countywide.


Adolescent Cigarette Smoking Prevalence in Los Angeles County (1)(2)

Race/Ethnicity Percent
White 10%
Latino 12%
African-American 6%
Asian/Pacific Islander 6%

(1) Cigarette smoking prevalence defined as having smoked at least once in the last 30 days.
(2) California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section, California Tobacco surveys,
      Behavioral Factor Survey/California Adult and Youth Tobacco Surveys, 1996.

Results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicate that smoking prevalence decreased from 26.5% in 1997 to 14.5% in 2001 among high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Youth smoking rates statewide, however, increased during the early- to mid-1990s, suggesting some caution to declaring an overall decline in youth smoking rates.


Alcoholic Beverage Consumption in Los Angeles County(3)

In 1999, 54% of adults reported recent alcohol consumption (defined as 1 or more drinks in the past month).

Drinking Habit Los Angeles County
Nondrinker 42%
Light drinker (0<drinks/day<.42) 37%
Moderate drinker (.42<drinks/day<2 ) 14%
Heavy drinker (>2 drinks/day) 5%

(3) Based on National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism guidelines: a drink is considered
      one can or bottle of beer, one glass of wine or cock-tail or shot of liquor.


Binge Drinking - Los Angeles County, 1999

• Nearly 16% of adults reported recent binge drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks on one occasion in the past month). Binge drinking was most prevalent among young adults: 24% of those ages 18-20 and 28% of those ages 21-24 reported binge drinking.

• 24% of men and 7% of women reported binge drinking.

• Binge drinking was most prevalent among Latinos (20%) followed by Whites (15%), African-Americans (12%), and Asians/Pacific Islanders (10%).

Percent of Adults Reporting Binge Drinking - By Age Group
Los Angeles County, 1999

Age Group Percent
Age 18-20 24%
Age 21-24 28%
Age 25-29 25%
Age 30-39 19%
Age 40-49 14%
Age 50-59 9%
Age 60+ 4%


Source of all information above: Los Angeles County Dept. of Health Services


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