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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA



Friday, July 14, 2006 - 12:00 PM
102-317

Impact of Acculturation on Cigarette Smoking Among Mexican-born Immigrants Living in Los Angeles County

Mark D. Weber, PhD1, Shari Mills, PhD1, and Paul Simon, MD, MPH2. (1) Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, County of Los Angeles/Department of Health Services, 3530 Wilshire Blvd., 8th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010, (2) Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, 313 North Figueroa, Room 127, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Problem: One out of three immigrants from Mexico to California relocates to Los Angeles County. Many of these immigrants may undergo an acculturation process leading to adoption of unhealthy behaviors such as cigarette smoking.

Objective: This research examines the effects of acculturation on cigarette smoking and identifies demographic correlates to inform development of smoking prevention strategies.

Methods: A population-based random-digit-dial telephone health survey was conducted in 2003 among Los Angeles County adult residents. Of the 8167 survey participants, 1389 were born in Mexico and constituted the analysis sample. Separate logistic regression models were conducted for females and males. Current cigarette smoking was the outcome variable and acculturation was the primary independent variable, with age, education, income, years lived in US, marital status, and job status included as covariates.

Results: Significant interactions between acculturation and education were found for females and males. Among females, higher acculturation was significantly associated with increased smoking prevalence for those with less than a high school degree or with some college, college or graduate degrees (but not among high school graduates). Among males, higher acculturation was significantly associated with increased smoking prevalence for those with less than a high school degree. Conversely, higher acculturation was marginally associated with lower smoking among those with some college, college or graduate degrees (no association found among high school graduates).

Conclusions: Findings indicate that culturally relevant smoking prevention interventions targeted to Mexican-born immigrants living in Los Angeles County are needed. Ideally, the intervention strategies should consider the gender and education of the participants.