Cigarette smoking among adult Latinos: the California Tobacco Baseline Survey

Ann Behav Med. 1996 Fall;18(4):238-45. doi: 10.1007/BF02895285.


This article presents probability estimates of smoking prevalence for the Latino adult population in California and examines differences in smoking prevalence and nicotine dependence between different levels of education and acculturation and between different ethnic and gender groups. Prevalence estimates are based on the California Baseline Tobacco Survey (CTS). The CTS is a Random Digit Dial Survey including N=70,997 non-Latino Whites and 28,000 Latino adults. Overall smoking prevalence among Latinos was estimated at 24.4% for men and 12.0% for women. Multiple logistic regression analyses suggest higher smoking prevalence and higher nicotine dependence for men than for women, for individuals who have not finished high school, for non-Latinos when compared to Latinos, and for Latinos of high level of acculturation when compared to Latinos of low level of acculturation. These estimates can serve as baselines to evaluate progress toward year 2000 health objectives. Findings stress the importance of taking into account socio-economic level when comparing Latinos and other ethnic groups on health behaviors. Moreover, findings suggest that interventions helping Latinos quit smoking are most needed for men with twelve years or less of formal education and stress the importance of programs to prevent smoking uptake, specifically among Latinos of low level of acculturation.