Cigarette smoking behavior among US Latino men and women from different countries of origin

E J PĂ©rez-Stable, A Ramirez, R Villareal, G A Talavera, E Trapido, L Suarez, J Marti, A McAlister
American Journal of Public Health 2001, 91 (9): 1424-30

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to compare smoking behavior among Latino men and women from different countries of origin.

METHODS: A telephone-administered survey was conducted in 8 cities with Latino men and women of different national origin living in census tracts with at least 70% Latino individuals.

RESULTS: A total of 8882 participants completed the survey; 53% were women. The average age of respondents was 44 years; 63% were foreign-born, and 59% preferred Spanish for the interview. Current smoking was more prevalent among men (25.0%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 23.7, 26.3) than among women (12.1%, 95% CI = 11.1, 13.0). Smoking rates were not significantly different by national origin among men, but Puerto Rican women had higher rates of smoking than other women. Central American men and women had the lowest smoking rates. Foreign-born respondents were less likely to be smokers (odds ratio [OR] = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.66, 0.90) than US-born respondents, and respondents with 12 years or less of education had an increased odds of smoking (OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.01, 1.35). High ac culturation was associated with more smoking in women (OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.00-1.25) and less smoking in men (OR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.78-0.95). Puerto Rican and Cuban respondents were more likely to be current smokers and to smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day.

CONCLUSIONS: Older, US-born, and more-educated respondents were less likely to be current smokers. Respondents of Puerto Rican and Cuban origin were more likely to smoke. Acculturation has divergent effects on smoking behavior by sex.

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