Background: Florida has the third largest population in the U.S. of persons living with disabilities, making optimizing health outcomes for this population paramount. Though the state has a long-standing and robust program to reduce tobacco use, prevention efforts do not specifically target persons with disabilities.
Objective: To compare rates of tobacco use behaviors and second hand smoke exposure between adults living with and without disabilities.
Methods: Secondary analysis of 2007-2009 Florida BRFSS data. The proportions of persons with disabilities who were cigar or cigarette smokers, quit smoking, were exposed to secondhand smoke, or had an interest in calling a Quit Line were compared for persons with and without disabilities. Weighted proportions and accompanying 95% confidence intervals were calculated, with proportions adjusted for age, gender, race, and education.
Results: Adult Floridians with a disability were more likely to report being a current cigarette smoker and being exposed to secondhand smoke, yet were also more likely to report quitting smoking for at least one day than were persons without a disability. No differences were found for cigar smoking, age at smoking initiation, or interest in the Quit Line.
Conclusions: Findings suggest persons with disability are disproportionately burdened by tobacco use, yet are more likely to attempt to quit, suggesting a need for targeted interventions to assist persons with a disability in smoking cessation and reducing tobacco use and exposure. This has important implications for the future health of a group at greater risk of chronic disease.
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