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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2011 Sep;30(3):240-7.

Patterns and predictors of current cigarette smoking in women and men of reproductive age-Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

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Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.



To estimate smoking prevalence by gender, describe patterns of cigarette use, and identify predictors of current smoking in reproductive-age adults in four Latin American countries.


Self-reported smoking was examined using data from Reproductive Health Surveys of women aged 15-49 years in Ecuador (2004), El Salvador (2002-2003), Guatemala (2002), and Honduras (2001), and of men aged 15-59 years in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for the same years. Current smoking was assessed by demographic characteristics, and independent associations were examined using logistic regression. Data were weighted to be nationally representative of households with reproductive-age women and men.


Current smoking prevalence ranged from 2.6% (Guatemala) to 13.1% (Ecuador) for women and from 23.1% (Guatemala) to 34.9% (El Salvador) for men. In Ecuador, 67.6% of female smokers were non-daily users; in other countries, daily use was more prevalent than non-daily use for both men and women. In daily users, the median number of cigarettes smoked per day ranged from 1.9 (Ecuador, Honduras) to 2.3 (Guatemala) for women and from 2.1 (Guatemala) to 3.6 (Honduras) for men. In bivariate analysis, smoking prevalence in all countries was highest in women who lived in urban areas, were previously married, and/or had high socioeconomic status. Risk factors for smoking varied by country and gender.


National tobacco control programs in these countries should aggressively target high-risk populations (reproductive-age men) and maintain low prevalence in low-risk populations (reproductive-age women). More research is needed to understand addiction patterns in non-daily smokers.

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