Effects of nativity, age at migration, and acculturation on smoking among adult Houston residents of Mexican descent

Am J Public Health. 2005 Jun;95(6):1043-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.055319.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / psychology
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / ethnology*
  • Transients and Migrants
  • United States
  • Urban Population