Pre- and post-immigration factors associated with cigarette use among young adult recent Latinx immigrants during their initial year in the U.S

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2022 Jan 2;48(1):17-26. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2021.1913601. Epub 2021 May 19.


Background: Evidence indicates escalating rates of cigarette use among foreign-born Latinx as their time in the U.S increases. As such, it's important to understand shifts in pre- to post-immigration smoking patterns early in the immigration process and its associated factors.Objectives: To examine 1) cigarette use among recent Latinx immigrants (RLIs) during their initial year in the U.S.; 2) whether cigarette use after immigration is influenced by smoking patterns in immigrant's country of origin; and 3) associations between pre/post immigration sociocultural factors and changes in cigarette use after immigration.Methods: Baseline data were utilized from an on-going longitudinal study of 540 young adult (50% females) RLIs. Inclusion criteria was being between ages 18 and 34, residing in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and having immigrated from a Latin American country within the past yearResults: Approximately 31% of participants reported being smokers in their country of origin while 26% were current smokers (while residing in the U.S). Post-immigration cigarette use was substantially influenced by country of origin cigarette use (V = .68); 84% of pre-immigration smokers reported no change in smoking frequency, while 11% lowered and 6% increased their cigarette use post-immigration. Reduction in smoking after immigration was more likely among participants with higher pre-immigration social support (aOR = 1.87) and less likely among those residing in high-crime neighborhoods (aOR = .84).Conclusion: Interventions aimed to discourage cigarette use should begin early in the immigration process and account for RLIs' pre-immigration smoking patterns. Interpersonal supports and neighborhood contextual factors should be considered when developing smoking cessation programs with this population.

Keywords: Latinos/Latinas; cigarette smoking; hispanics; immigrants; tobacco smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Young Adult