Communication Inequalities, Social Determinants, and Intermittent Smoking in the 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey
Published Date:Mar 16 2009
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2009; 6(2).
Intermittent smokers account for a large proportion of all smokers, and this trend is increasing. Social and communication inequalities may account for disparities in intermittent smoking status.
Data for this study came from 2,641 ever-smokers from a 2003 nationally representative cross-sectional survey. Independent variables of interest included race/ethnicity, sex, household income, education, health media attention, and cancer-related beliefs. The outcome of interest was smoking status categorized as daily smoker, intermittent smoker, or former smoker. Analyses used 2 sets of multivariable logistic regressions to investigate the associations of covariates with intermittent smokers compared with former smokers and with daily smokers.
People with high education and high income, Spanish-speaking Hispanics, and women were the most likely to be intermittent rather than daily smokers. Women and Spanish-speaking Hispanics were the most likely to be intermittent rather than former smokers. Attention to health media sources increased the likelihood that a person would be an intermittent smoker instead of a former or daily smoker. Believing that damage from smoking is avoidable and irreversible was associated with lower odds of being an intermittent smoker rather than a former smoker but did not differentiate intermittent smoking from daily smoking.
The results indicate that tailoring smoking-cessation campaigns toward intermittent smokers from specific demographic groups by using health media may improve the effect of these campaigns and reduce social health disparities.
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