Title

Educational Attainment and Quitting Smoking: A Structural Equation Model Approach

Department

Secondary and Middle Grades Education

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2018

Abstract

In the United States, disparities in smoking prevalence and cessation by socioeconomic status are well documented, but there is limited research on reasons why and none conducted in a national sample assessing multiple potential mechanisms. We identified smoking and cessation-related behavioral and environmental variables associated with both educational attainment and quitting success. We used a structural equation model of cross-sectional data from respondents ≥25 years from the United States 2010–2011 Tobacco Use Supplement-Current Population Survey. Quitting success was defined as former (n = 2607) versus continuing smokers (n = 7636); categories of educational attainment were ≤high school degree, some college/college degree, and advanced degree. Results indicated that using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) >1 month and having a home smoking restriction were associated with both educational attainment and quitting success. Those with lower educational attainment versus those with an advanced degree were less likely to report using NRT >1 month (≤high school: β = −0.50, p < 0.001; college: β = −0.24, p = 0.019). Use of NRT >1 month, in turn, was positively associated with quitting success (β = 0.25, p < 0.001). Those with lower educational attainment were also less likely to report a home smoking restriction (≤high school: β = −0.42, p < 0.001; college: β = −0.21, p = 0.009). Having a home smoking restriction was positively associated with quitting success (β = 0.50, p < 0.001). Results were similar with income substituted for education. Using NRT >1 month and having a home smoking restriction are two strategies that may explain the association between low education and lower cessation success; these strategies should be further tested for their potential ability to mitigate this association.

Journal

Preventative Medicine

Journal ISSN

0091-7435

Volume

116

First Page

32

Last Page

39

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.ypmed.2018.08.031

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