Age and education patterns of smoking among women in high-income nations

Soc Sci Med. 2003 Oct;57(8):1505-14. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(02)00543-9.


In suggesting that levels of female smoking in high-income nations result from patterns of adoption and abatement during the process of cigarette diffusion, theories of diffusion predict that age and education patterns of smoking shift from concentration among young and highly educated women to older and less educated women as cigarette use spreads through a population and begins to decline. Using survey data on individuals from 16 European nations, aggregate measures of cigarette diffusion, and multilevel statistical models, this study demonstrates that age and education patterns vary with the stage of cigarette diffusion as predicted by the diffusion theories, and provides some evidence concerning future patterns of change in female smoking across nations at diverse stages of cigarette diffusion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Educational Status*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health*