Objectives: We investigated differences in smoking behaviors between US-and Mexican-born ever smokers and examined the influence of US culture on smoking initiation.
Methods: Participants were 5030 adults of Mexican descent enrolled in an ongoing population-based cohort in Houston, Tex.
Results: More men than women reported current smoking; rates among US-born women were higher than those among Mexican-born women. Smoking rates among US-born men were higher than earlier published rates among Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites but similar to rates among African Americans. Current smoking rates among Mexican-born women were lower than published rates for Hispanics, non-Hispanic Whites, and African Americans. Older age, male gender, a higher level of acculturation, more than a high school education, and residing in a census tract with a higher median age predicted history of smoking among US-born participants. Among Mexican-born participants, older age, male gender, a higher level of acculturation, and younger age at migration predicted history of smoking.
Conclusions: Smoking interventions for people of Mexican descent should be tailored according to gender, nativity, and acculturation level and should target all ages, not just young people.