The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5081.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 1:24 PM

Abstract #45699

Cigarette smoking and smoking cessation among oldest-old Chinese

Carolyn Wei Zhu, PhD and Marianne C. Fahs, PhD, MPH. Health Policy Research Center, Milano Graduate School, New School University, 72 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10011, 212-229-5311x1511,

Chinese Americans, the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the US, may be at particularly high risk for excess tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. While the overall smoking rate in NYC is 21%, 45% of Asian males and 8% of Asian females in NYC currently smoke. Little is known about the smoking behavior of Chinese elderly largely because existing literature of smoking in Chinese populations have focused on non-elderly respondents. This study provides the first description of smoking and smoking cessation among oldest-old Chinese and estimates the effects of smoking behavior in younger ages on the probability of smoke cessation. Respondents were drawn from the 1998 Healthy Longevity Survey in China, a national survey of persons age 80 or older (N=8,760) to determine the social, behavioral, environmental and biological factors that affect healthy longevity. Results suggest that majority of men began smoking before age 25. One in four women did not begin smoking until they were 40 years old. Average age of quitting was 70 for both men and women, and peak quit rates occurred between age 70 and 89. Prevalence of smoking and smoke cessation differed across socio-demographic groups. Smokers who initiated smoking later in life were more likely to quit than those who initiated in their teens were. The sheer number and the extraordinary growth rates of the oldest-old Chinese make understanding smoking behaviors in this population of critical public health concerns. Public policy efforts that delay smoking initiation may also be effective in facilitating smoking cessation in later life.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Tobacco Control Research in Targeted Populations

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA