Demographic and socioeconomic links to cigarette smoking

Soc Biol. Spring-Summer 1995;42(1-2):1-21. doi: 10.1080/19485565.1995.9988884.


This paper illuminates the demographic and socioeconomic factors associated with smoking statuses. It employs the 1990 National Health Interview Survey's Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Supplement and logistic regression to examine the covariates of smoking status among the U.S. adult population. Polychotomous logistic regression, which provides an alternate way to examine smoking practices, simultaneously considers multiple variables and their interactions, controls for other important covariates, produces predicted values and patterns, and allows multiple comparisons. By examining interactions, we have found that age displays distinct, often curvilinear, patterns with smoking; that compared to females, males have higher rates of cigarette consumption except at the youngest ages; that Anglos, especially Anglo males, exhibit high probabilities of cigarette consumption but also high probabilities of being former smokers; that Black males exhibit high probabilities of light smoking, but only at the older ages, and that they also exhibit high probabilities of being former light smokers; and that Mexican-American females are the least likely to currently smoke or to have ever smoked. By clearly elucidating the demographic and socioeconomic variations in smoking, arguably the most salient marker of health behavior, we can better target programs and policies geared toward the reduction of smoking-related diseases and deaths.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • United States / epidemiology