Ethnic differences in daily smoking in Malmö, Sweden. Varying influence of psychosocial and economic factors

Eur J Public Health. 2002 Dec;12(4):287-94. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/12.4.287.


Background: The aim was to investigate ethnic differences in daily smoking in Malmö, Sweden, and whether these differences could be explained by psychosocial and economic conditions.

Methods: The public health survey in Malmö 1994 is a cross-sectional study. A total of 5,600 individuals aged 20-80 years were randomly chosen to respond to a postal questionnaire. The participation rate was 71%. The study population was divided into seven categories according to country of birth; Sweden, Denmark/Norway, other Western countries, former Yugoslavia, Poland, Arabic-speaking countries and all other countries. A multivariate analysis was performed using a logistic regression model in order to investigate the importance of possible confounders on the ethnic differences in daily smoking. Finally, variables measuring social network, social support and economic conditions were introduced.

Results: The prevalence of daily smoking was significantly higher among both men and women born in Denmark/Norway (39.1% and 37.0%), men born in other Western countries (32.9%), Poland (34.0%) and Arabic-speaking countries (36.4%) than among Swedish men (21.7%) and women (23.8%). Women born in Arabic-speaking countries had a significantly lower smoking prevalence (7.1%). The multivariate analysis, including age, education and snuff, did not affect these results. A reduction of the odds ratio of daily smoking was observed for men born in Arabic-speaking countries and Poland after the introduction of the psychosocial and economic factors in the model. Only small changes were observed for women.

Conclusion: There were significant ethnic group differences in daily smoking. Psychosocial and economic conditions in Sweden may be of importance in some ethnic groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle East / ethnology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries / ethnology
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology