The purpose of this study is to explore neighborhood contextual factors in terms of smoking behaviors among middle-aged Japanese, by using a multilevel analysis. Subjects were Japanese men and women, between 40 and 59 years of age (40,961 for the cross-sectional analysis, and 9,177 for the longitudinal analysis), nested in 39 neighborhoods (Kyuson). The results showed that women in a less residentially stable neighborhood were more likely to be smokers. No associations were seen between current smoking and neighborhood deprivation; however, women in the most deprived neighborhood were more likely to quit smoking. This study is the first to demonstrate the associations between neighborhood environment and current smoking or smoking cessation, in a Japanese setting. The findings imply that policy makers should consider targeting neighborhood conditions in order to help reduce smoking prevalence, especially among women.
Keywords: Japan; Multilevel analysis; Neighborhoods; Smoking.
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