Published in American Journal of Public Health, Volume 91, Issue 11, November 1, 2001, pages 1847-1850. Copyright © 2001 American Public Health Association. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.91.11.1847.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Marilyn Tseng was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Objectives. This study examined whether area-level characteristics are associated with individual smoking behavior among women.
Methods. Analyses included 648 women enrolled as control patients in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study (1993–1996). Smoking and covariate information was obtained from interviews. Area-level characteristics included census block-group education level, poverty, unemployment, car–home ownership, crowding, and, for 431 women, city-level crime rates.
Results. In multivariate logistic regression models, no area characteristics were clearly associated with a history of smoking. Among those who had ever smoked, continued smoking was associated with living in low-education areas (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0, 2.9), highunemployment areas (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.0, 2.8), and high-crime areas (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 0.8, 3.2).
Conclusions. The present findings are consistent with a growing literature suggesting that area-level social and economic disadvantage influences individual smoking behavior.