Tobacco use and persistent smoking characteristics in a Hispanic sample

Denise Rodriguez, University of Texas at El Paso


Despite recent declines in smoking prevalence, smoking continues to be a concern, particularly among persistent smokers and underserved populations, such as ethnic minorities, those with psychiatric comorbidities, those with a history of substance use and abuse, and weight concerned smokers. Culturally sensitive smoking cessation programs tailored for particular populations have been frequently endorsed but are rare. One hundred sixty smoking or nonsmoking English-speaking Hispanic participants were given the following assessments: demographics, smoking related variables, psychological dependence on nicotine, alcoholic drink rate and drink time, acculturation, depressive symptomatology, drug use, expired carbon monoxide, and body composition. Descriptive analyses were used to create a profile of Hispanic smoking behaviors and attitudes, and a logistic regression model was used to identify predictors of Hispanic smoking. Hispanic smokers in this population were: light smokers ( M = 10.5 cigarettes per day, SD = 7.39); with low levels of nicotine dependence (FTND scores M = 2.84, SD = 2.09); low levels of expired carbon monoxide (M = 8.0 ppm, SD = 8.40); a significant number of past attempts to quit smoking, and limited use of smoking cessation aids, particularly pharmacological agents. Significant predictors of smoking included: a history of use of mental health services (OR = 3.40, p < .05) and number of drinks per week (OR = 1.06, p < .01). Gender (OR = .422, p = .052) and ever use of illicit drugs (OR = 2.51, p = .052) were marginally significant predictors of smoking status. These findings suggest that substance use and psychiatric comorbidity may be barriers to quitting smoking in this population, and as such should be considered as relevant components to a culturally sensitive tobacco cessation intervention for Hispanic smokers, particularly those situated on the U.S./Mexico border.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical|Hispanic American Studies

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez, Denise, "Tobacco use and persistent smoking characteristics in a Hispanic sample" (2007). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1444086.