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Featured PHR Article of the Week: Disparities in Current Cigarette Smoking, Prevalence by Type of Disability

In the latest issue of Public Health Reports, May/June 2014, Center for Disease Control associates Ms. Elizabeth Courtney-Long, Ms. Alissa Stevens, Dr. Ralph Caraballo, Dr. Ismaila Ramon, and Dr. Brian Armour highlight the disparities between smokers with disabilities and smokers without disabilities.

Smoking, the leading cause of disease and death in the United States, has been linked to a number of health conditions including cancer and cardiovascular disease. While people with a disability have been shown to be more likely to report smoking, little is known about the prevalence of smoking by type of disability, particularly for adults younger than 50 years of age.

It was found that adults with a disability were more likely than adults without a disability to be current smokers. When socio-demographic characteristics were controlled, it was evident that having a disability was associated with statistically significantly higher odds of current smoking. As a result, it is believed that the prevalence of current smoking for adults is higher for every functional disability type than for adults without a disability. By understanding the association between smoking and disability type among adults younger than 50 years of age, resources for cessation services can be better targeted during the ages when increased time for health improvement can occur.

This week’s PHR feature article, Disparities in Current Cigarette Smoking, Prevalence by Type of Disability, will be open access through June 12. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.