Objectives. The aim of this work was to examine changes in the smoking behavior of elderly Mexican Americans in the southwestern United States from the early 1980s to the early 1990s. Methods. Data from the 1993-1994 Hispanic EPESE study (n = 2,809) on persons ages 65 to 74 and 75 to 84 residing in the five southwestern states were compared with data from the 1982-1984 Hispanic HANES study (n = 753, persons ages 55 to 74), which included a Mexican American sample from the same five southwestern states. Results. Rates of current smoking in 1993-1994 for persons ages 65 to 74 were approximately half the rates for persons of the same age a decade earlier. Smoking rates for persons ages 75 to 84 in 1993-1994 were significantly lower than rates for persons ages 65 to 74 a decade earlier. Finally, rates for persons ages 65 to 74 in 1993-1994 were significantly lower than those for persons ages 55 to 64 in 1982-1984. Conclusions. Although some of the declines in smoking in recent years represent aging effects (including declines due to greater mortality among smokers), the much lower rates for same-age people (65 to 74) over the 10-year period are more significant in that they represent cohort differences. It appears that the broader public health message that is causing the general population to quit smoking is reaching the elderly Mexican American population of the Southwest.
- Mexican Americans
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health