Incarceration and current tobacco smoking among black and Caribbean black Americans in the national survey of American life

Zinzi D. Bailey, Cassandra Okechukwu, Ichiro Kawachi, David R. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. We examined the relationship between having a history of incarceration and being a current smoker using a national sample of noninstitutionalized Black adults living in the United States. Methods. With data from the National Survey of American Life collected between February 2001 and March 2003, we calculated individual propensity scores for having a history of incarceration. To examine the relationship between prior incarceration and current smoking status, we ran gender-specific propensitymatched fitted logistic regression models. Results. A history of incarceration was consistently and independently associated with a higher risk of current tobacco smoking in men and women. Formerly incarcerated Black men had 1.77 times the risk of being a current tobacco smoker than did their counterparts without a history of incarceration (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.20, 2.61) in the propensity score-matched sample. The results were similar among Black women (prevalence ratio = 1.61; 95% CI = 1.00, 2.57). Conclusions. Mass incarceration likely contributes to the prevalence of smoking among US Blacks. Future research should explore whether the exclusion of institutionalized populations in national statistics obscures Black- White disparities in tobacco smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2275-2282
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume105
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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