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How much do rural Hispanics know about the adverse health risks of smoking?

How much do rural Hispanics know about the adverse health risks of smoking?

Journal of Rural Health 17(3): 151-155

The object of this study was to measure knowledge in a rural Hispanic community about the adverse health effects of smoking and to compare knowledge between current smokers and nonsmokers. A survey was administered to waiting room patients (n =137) over 16 years old at three predominantly Hispanic rural community health centers in the central San Joaquin Valley of California. Proportions of respondents who believed that smoking caused a specific consequence were calculated and compared between smokers and nonsmokers by chi-square tests. Likelihood of attributing negative health consequences to smoking was determined and compared between smokers and nonsmokers. A majority of all participants (smokers and nonsmokers) knew that smoking causes lung cancer (93 percent) and emphysema (91 percent). Many fewer participants knew that smoking contributes to problems such as osteoporosis (39 percent) or sexual dysfunction (33 percent). Current smokers were less likely than nonsmokers (P=0.01) to say that smoking causes any adverse health outcome, including those not known to be related to smoking. Although this is a culturally, ethnically and geographically unique group, knowledge of smoking risks among smoking and nonsmoking rural Hispanics is similar to that found in the general population. When compared with nonsmokers, current smokers underestimate the risk that smoking poses to health.

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Accession: 046280110

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PMID: 11765878

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