Objective: To conduct a systematic review of published studies investigating the association of acculturation and smoking patterns among Hispanic men and women in the United States.
Methods: Online bibliographic databases were searched from 1985 to 2003 using three key search terms. The methodology and findings of all retrieved articles were critically evaluated. Data were extracted from each article regarding study population, study methods, exposure assessment, outcomes measured, acculturation measures used, and results.
Results: The literature search identified 78 articles from MEDLINE, PubMed, and PsychINFO databases; of these, 11 studies met the inclusion criteria. Seven regional studies based in the western United States and four nationwide studies were included in the review. Seven studies used formal acculturation scales, three used language spoken, and one used language spoken and country of birth to indicate acculturation status. Nine studies showed a positive association between acculturation and smoking among women, and one study involving men showed a negative association.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that the association of acculturation and smoking is gender-specific. In this instance, increased smoking prevalence with increased acculturation is consistently observed among Hispanic women but not among men. As Hispanic women acculturate, their cigarette smoking may increase because their behavior becomes more strongly influenced by the norms and practices of the dominant group than among men. Immigrant- and gender-specific public health interventions need to be designed to combat the increase in smoking rates among Hispanics in the United States.