Latin America: Adult smoking patterns
Title: Patterns and predictors of current cigarette smoking in women and men of reproductive age - Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Authors: V Tong, R Turcios-Ruiz, P Dietz, L England
Reference: Rev Panam Salud Publica 2011; 30(3) open access
Reviewer: Joaquin Barnoya, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor, ProCor; Research Assistant, Professor of Surgery, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Director, Research and Education, Unidad de Cirugia Cardiovascular de Guatemala, Guatemala
Reviewer comments: These data provide an insight of the different stages of the tobacco epidemic in Latin America. Of note is the number of cigarettes smoked per day, in all the countries included it is low compared to other countries. Furthermore, to my knowledge, none of these countries have longitudinal nation-wide smoking surveys. As proven in other countries, these data are useful not only to track the epidemic but also to support tobacco control policies.
Purpose of study: To estimate current smoking prevalence by gender, describe patterns of cigarette use, and identify predictors of current cigarette smoking in four Latin American countries
Location of study: Ecuador, El Savador, Guatemala, Honduras
Methods: This study uses data from the Reproductive Health Surveys (RHS). These are nationally representative surveys of households with women and men of reproductive age. Surveys were conducted in Ecuador (2004), El Salvador (2002-2003), Guatemala (2002), and Honduras (2001). Respondents were selected using a three-stage sampling strategy based on the political or administrative divisions of the country. Trained data collectors through face-to-face interviews conducted surveys.
Results: Response rates ranged from 91.2% (El Salvador) to 97% (Ecuador) for the women's surveys and from 79.4% (El Salvador) to 85.7% (Guatemala) for the men's surveys. Current smokers were defined as those who reported smoking any number of cigarettes in the last 30 days and were subdivided into daily and non-daily smokers. Non-current smokers were divided "never smokers" and "former smokers". Never smokers were defined as those who reported never having smoked cigarettes. Confounders included age, residence (urban vs. rural), education, marital status, and current pregnancy status.