Smoking among U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults: the Hispanic community health study/study of Latinos

Robert C Kaplan, Shrikant I Bangdiwala, Janice M Barnhart, Sheila F Castañeda, Marc D Gellman, David J Lee, Eliseo J Pérez-Stable, Gregory A Talavera, Marston E Youngblood, Aida L Giachello
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2014, 46 (5): 496-506

BACKGROUND: Prior national surveys capture smoking behaviors of the aggregated U.S. Hispanic/Latino population, possibly obscuring subgroup variation.

PURPOSE: To describe cigarette use among Hispanic/Latino adults across subgroups of age, gender, national background, SES, birthplace, and degree of acculturation to the dominant U.S. culture.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 16,322 participants in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos aged 18-74 years, recruited in Bronx NY, Chicago IL, Miami FL, and San Diego CA, was conducted during 2008-2011.

RESULTS: Prevalence of current smoking was highest among Puerto Ricans (men, 35.0%; women, 32.6%) and Cubans (men, 31.3%; women, 21.9%), with particularly high smoking intensity noted among Cubans as measured by pack-years and cigarettes/day. Dominicans had the lowest smoking prevalence (men, 11.0%; women, 11.7%). Individuals of other national backgrounds had a smoking prevalence that was intermediate between these groups, and typically higher among men than women. Non-daily smoking was common, particularly although not exclusively among young men of Mexican background. Persons of low SES were more likely to smoke, less likely to have quit smoking, and less frequently used over-the-counter quit aids compared to those with higher income and education levels. Smoking was more common among individuals who were born in the U.S. and had a higher level of acculturation to the dominant U.S. culture, particularly among women.

CONCLUSIONS: Smoking behaviors vary widely across Hispanic/Latino groups in the U.S., with a high prevalence of smoking among population subgroups with specific, readily identifiable characteristics.

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