A Smoke-Free Paso del Norte: impact over 10 years on smoking prevalence using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Am J Public Health. 2012 May;102(5):899-908. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300346. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


Objectives: We assessed the impact of a tobacco control initiative over 10 years on cessation and prevention.

Methods: We examined 2000-2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System cases of a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) with systematic tobacco control efforts throughout the decade (El Paso, TX) and 2 comparison MSAs similar in size and population with less coordinated tobacco control efforts (Austin-Round Rock, TX and San Antonio, TX).

Results: Yearly, El Paso exhibited a 6% increase in the prevalence of former smokers, a 6% decrease in prevalence of daily smokers, and a 7% decrease in the prevalence of established smoking (≥ 100 cigarettes per lifetime and currently smoking); we did not observe similar trends in the comparison MSAs. There was no change in the prevalence of nondaily smokers in any of the MSAs.

Conclusions: The coordinated tobacco control activities in El Paso are related to cessation among daily smokers and prevention of established smoking at the population level but have not stimulated cessation among nondaily smokers. Comprehensive tobacco control should focus more on not only daily smokers but also nondaily smokers.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Texas / epidemiology