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Subst Abus. 2002 Dec;23(4):223-31.

Smoking characteristics of a homeless population.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160-7313, USA.


When addressing tobacco control and smoking cessation measures, the homeless have been perceived as a difficult to reach population. The purpose of this study was to examine the smoking characteristics of a homeless population. Data were derived from a larger study that examined smoking among inner-city residents. Homeless smokers (n = 107) were compared to nonhomeless smokers (n = 491) on sociodemographics, smoking characteristics, motivation to quit, and smoking cessation experiences. Results showed that homeless smokers were more likely to be white, smoke more cigarettes per day, initiate smoking at a younger age, and have a longer smoking history. Knowledge about the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting was equally high in both groups. Homeless smokers were less likely to be preparing to quit smoking compared to nonhomeless smokers. These factors place homeless smokers at increased risk of tobacco-related diseases. Programs are needed to design and test effective cessation interventions for homeless smokers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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