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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB: Determinants of Cigarette Smoking Status in a National Cohort of Black and White Adult Smokers in the U.S.

While awareness of cigarette smoking’s harmful effects has increased, determinants associated with smoking status remain understudied, including potential racial differences. University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health researchers aim to examine factors associated with former versus current smoking status and assess whether these associations differed by race.

A team of researchers, including Dr. Virginia Howard, professor of epidemiology from UAB’s School of Public Health, performed a cross-sectional analysis using the population-based Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study.

Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) of former smoking status compared with current smoking status with risk factors of interest. Race interactions were tested using multiplicative interaction terms.

16463 participants reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. Physical activity, adherence to Mediterranean diet, daily television viewing time, and abstinence from alcohol were associated with former-smoker status. Male sex, higher education and income $35,000-$74,000 were also associated with former-smoker status. Factors associated with lower odds of reporting former-smoker status were younger and single marital status, being divorced or widowed. Significant interactions were observed between race and alcohol use and dyslipidemia, such that black participants had higher odds of reporting former-smoker status if they were abstinent from alcohol or had a history of dyslipidemia.

The authors concluded that efforts to promote tobacco cessation should consist of targeted behavioral interventions that incorporate racial differences.

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