Publication Abstract

Authors: Escobedo LG, Remington PL, Anda RF

Title: Long-term secular trends in initiation of cigarette smoking among Hispanics in the United States.

Journal: Public Health Rep 104(6):583-7

Date: 1989 Nov-Dec

Abstract: Preventing the initiation of cigarette smoking plays a vital role in reducing rates of cigarette smoking. The authors investigated trends in cigarette smoking initiation among Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, compared with whites, by examining the cigarette smoking histories of adults from the 1982-83 Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the 1987 National Health Interview Survey. To evaluate these trends, they calculated the prevalence of cigarette smoking among 20-24-year-olds, an indicator of the rate of smoking initiation, in successive 5-year birth cohorts from 1908-12 to 1958-62 among Hispanics and from 1908-12 to 1963-67 among whites. Recently, rates of smoking initiation among Mexican American and Cuban American men have declined and converged with rates of initiation among white men. However, rates of initiation among Puerto Rican American men appeared to have remained unchanged since the 1950s. During the 1970s rates of smoking initiation among Cuban American and Puerto Rican American women surpassed those of white women. In the early 1980s, however, rates of initiation among these groups of Hispanic women have declined to levels comparable to or perhaps lower than the rates among white women. Although recently the rates among Mexican American women have been the lowest of all groups of women, they have not experienced appreciable declines. In general, rates of smoking initiation either declined or leveled off later for Hispanics than for whites. These results suggest that Hispanics tended to follow the smoking trends observed among whites and that special efforts are needed to prevent cigarette smoking among Hispanics.