Socioeconomic status and smoking: a review

Rosemary Hiscock, Linda Bauld, Amanda Amos, Jennifer A. Fidler, Marcus Munafo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

633 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Smoking prevalence is higher among disadvantaged groups, and disadvantaged smokers may face higher exposure to tobacco's harms. Uptake may also be higher among those with low socioeconomic status (SES), and quit attempts are less likely to be successful. Studies have suggested that this may be the result of reduced social support for quitting, low motivation to quit, stronger addiction to tobacco, increased likelihood of not completing courses of pharmacotherapy or behavioral support sessions, psychological differences such as lack of self-efficacy, and tobacco industry marketing. Evidence of interventions that work among lower socioeconomic groups is sparse. Raising the price of tobacco products appears to be the tobacco control intervention with the most potential to reduce health inequalities from tobacco. Targeted cessation programs and mass media interventions can also contribute to reducing inequalities. To tackle the high prevalence of smoking among disadvantaged groups, a combination of tobacco control measures is required, and these should be delivered in conjunction with wider attempts to address inequalities in health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1248
Issue number1
Early online date17 Nov 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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