A Transnational Study of Migration and Smoking Behavior in the Mexican-origin Population

Published In: American Journal of Public Health, v. 102, no. 11, Nov. 2012, p. 2116-2122

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2012

by Elisa Tong, Naomi Saito, Daniel J. Tancredi, Guilherme Borges, Richard L. Kravitz, Ladson Hinton, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, María Elena Icaza Medina-Mora, Joshua Breslau

Read More

Access further information on this document at American Public Health Association

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVES: We examined migration-related changes in smoking behavior in the transnational Mexican-origin population. METHODS: We combined epidemiological surveys from Mexico (Mexican National Comorbidity Survey) and the United States (Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys). We compared 4 groups with increasing US contact with respect to smoking initiation, persistence, and daily cigarette consumption: Mexicans with no migrant in their family, Mexicans with a migrant in their family or previous migration experience, migrants, and US-born Mexican Americans. RESULTS: Compared with Mexicans with a migrant in their family or previous migration experience, migrants were less likely to initiate smoking (odds ratio [OR] = 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.38, 0.83) and less likely to be persistent smokers (OR = 0.41; 95% CI = 0.26, 0.63). Among daily smokers, the US-born smoked more cigarettes per day than did Mexicans with a migrant in their family or previous migration experience for men (7.8 vs 6.5) and women (8.6 vs 4.3). CONCLUSIONS: Evidence suggests that smoking is suppressed among migrants relative to the broader transnational Mexican-origin population. The pattern of low daily cigarette consumption among US-born Mexican Americans, noted in previous research, represents an increase relative to smokers in Mexico.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.