Perceptions of personal risk about smoking and health among Bosnian refugees living in the United States

J Immigr Minor Health. 2012 Jun;14(3):413-9. doi: 10.1007/s10903-011-9511-4.


More than 60% of Bosnian refugees in the United States may be current smokers. Examining health beliefs can provide insight into smoking behaviors in this community. Four hundred ninety-nine Bosnians were interviewed about health beliefs and personal health risks related to smoking. ANOVA was used to compare current, former, and never smokers. General health beliefs were significantly different by smoking status with medium effect sizes (P < .001; η(2) = 0.04-0.06); current smokers were less likely to agree that smokers live shorter lives and that smokers are more likely to get heart disease. Significant differences with large effect sizes (P < .001; η(2) = 0.11-0.29) were found in perception of personal risk of lung cancer and heart disease among current, former, and never smokers. Current smokers perceived their own health risks as less severe than those of other smokers. High smoking rates and smokers' optimism related to health indicate that culturally tailored educational and cessation interventions are needed for Bosnian refugee communities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri / epidemiology
  • Models, Psychological
  • Perception*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Refugees / psychology
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult