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Publication Abstract

Authors: Caraballo RS, Lee CW

Title: [Tobacco use among Mexicans and their descendants in the United States].

Journal: Salud Publica Mex 46(3):241-50

Date: 2004 May-Jun

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To show the information obtained in U.S. surveys and studies on cigarette smoking or other tobacco use in Mexicans residing in the United States. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Different information systems and surveys were used. Those used in the study herein presented include the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1991-2001, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1999-2001, the National Health Interview Survey, 1978-2001, the Current Population Survey, 1998-1999, The National Health Vital Statistics, 1999, and the U.S. Census Bureau, 2001. RESULTS: A decreased prevalence of cigarette smoking has been observed in the U.S. both in young persons and adults. A decreased prevalence among subjects reporting Mexican and Mexican-American (combined) ethnicity was also noted. Young adults and adults of Mexican or Mexican-American origin smoke cigarettes less frequently than non-Hispanic whites or American Indians. However, this lower rate among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans is due mainly to the lower use of cigarettes among Mexican-American and Mexican women (combined). Although these women have a lower prevalence of cigarette smoking than non-Hispanic white females, among Mexican-American and Mexican males (combined) cigarette smoking may be as common as in non-Hispanic white males. Moreover, those who identify themselves as Mexican-American have higher cigarette use than those who identify themselves as Mexicans. Finally, Mexican and Mexican-American women (combined) of a lower education level are more prone to smoking during pregnancy than females of the same group with a higher education level. CONCLUSIONS: This report shows differences by age, sex, self-definition of ethnicity (Mexican or Mexican-American), and education level, regarding smoking among Mexicans or persons with a Mexican background living in the United States. It is crucial to understand the demographic changes and trends and patterns among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the U.S. so as to design and implement smoking control programs that are efficient, culturally sensitive, and designed specifically for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. The English version of this paper is available at:

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013