186735 Adult Smoking in El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:24 PM

Jon Law, BA , Paso del Norte Health Foundation, El Paso, TX
Brian Colwell, PhD , Social and Behavioral Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Dennis Smith, PhD , University of Houston, Kingwood, TX
Michael P. Kelly, PhD , Program Officer, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, El Paso, TX
Background: Due to differences in the ethnic and economic characteristics of El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico from their respective states; local estimates of smoking behaviors, quit knowledge and behaviors, and social norms were needed for program planning and evaluation. The Paso del Norte Health Foundation implemented a telephone survey of the region's residents modeled after the Adult Tobacco Survey. Both cities are located within the U.S.-México border region. Objective: Measure the prevalence of tobacco use, exposure to second-hand smoke, and attitudes regarding smoke-free environments. Method: The survey was conducted during an 89-day interview period between June and August 2006 and utilized a modified Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS). ATS data collection and quality assurance procedures were followed. A total of 1,255 interviews were conducted. The sample was drawn from the total non-institutionalized adult population within the two selected border cities (ages 18 and over) residing in dwellings equipped with landline telephones. The weights for the data were calculated using a multi-stage process, including corrections for differential probabilities of selection and post-stratification to population counts by geographical region, race, age, and sex. Results: The cities of El Paso (14.7%) and Las Cruces (15.2%) had a similar proportion of adult smokers. The proportion of adult smokers in El Paso has dropped 32.5% (from 21.5% in 1996 to 14.7%) in the past decade. Nationally, adult smoking decreased by 15% during the same time period. In both of the cities, approximately 4% of the population report smoking “some days.” Respondents in both cities also reported strong support for an El Paso-like clean indoor air ordinance. Conclusions: Smoking in the region continues to decline. About 4% of individuals throughout the region are considered “light” or “some day” smokers. Despite common misperceptions, there are significant health risks with light smoking. Consideration should be given to this sub-population to encourage cessation and prevent possible transition to heavy smoking.

Learning Objectives:
1. State the prevalence of tobacco use in two communities on the U.S.-Mexico border. 2. Discuss changes in tobacco use in two communities on the U.S.-Mexico border. 3. List factors that may contribute to the decrease in tobacco use in the populations studied. 4. Discuss the importance of surveillance as a component in a comprehensive tobacco control program.

Keywords: Tobacco Control, Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I contributed to the design, implementation, and analysis of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.