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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009 Oct 1;104 Suppl 1:S17-23. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.06.002. Epub 2009 Jul 24.

An overview of the emergence of disparities in smoking prevalence, cessation, and adverse consequences among women.

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Worldwide Epidemiology, GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


This report reviews epidemiologic findings demonstrating the emergence of disparities in smoking prevalence against the backdrop of general declines in smoking over time among women in the United States. In addition to socioeconomic differences in overall smoking prevalence, this report examines evidence of emerging disparities for specific stages of smoking, including progression to heavy smoking, smoking cessation, and lung cancer mortality. Findings from population-based studies indicate that social disadvantage signals higher likelihood of involvement with each stage of smoking and the gap by level of disadvantage is increasing over time. Disparities in smoking outcomes have been observed for both men and women but in many cases appear to be greater for women. This pattern of results in which disparities emerge in a dynamic system of change in smoking are consistent with Link and Phelan's theory of social conditions as a fundamental cause of disease, and has important implications for approaches to reduce the public health burden of smoking.

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