Differences in smoking habits between black and white Americans may lead to lower lung cancer screening rates for blacks, according to a study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Researchers analyzed federal government data from 1965 to 2012 and found that blacks are less likely than whites to start smoking in their late teens, but also less likely to quit as they get older. The study also found that black smokers use fewer cigarettes a day than white smokers.

While blacks tend to continue smoking into their later years, the fact that they tend to smoke fewer cigarettes means that have fewer average “pack-years,” calculated by multiplying the number of packs smoked per day by years of smoking, the researchers noted.

“Pack-years” is one of the ways to determine eligibility for lung cancer screening.

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