Study Measures Smoking Rates Among Specific Populations in California
People who identify as gay or lesbian, men of Korean descent and active-duty military personnel smoke tobacco at higher rates in California than the average 15.4% rate among the general population, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Department of Health Services, the Los Angeles Times reports (Becerra, Los Angeles Times, 9/7).
The study reflects the findings of five population-based studies conducted in 2003 and 2004 (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 9/7). DHS researchers and researchers from California universities compiled the data using mail and online surveys for military personnel and telephone interviews for the other populations.
The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community reported a 30.4% smoking rate.
More than 25% of Korean men surveyed smoked, a rate 46% higher than for California men overall, according to the study. About 50% of Korean households in California were smoke-free, compared with about 77% of other households.
Unlike Korean and Chinese men, who had lower smoking rates the longer they lived in the U.S., women of those nationalities had higher smoking rates the longer they lived in the U.S, the study found.
Meanwhile, the smoking rate among Asian Indians was only 5.5%, likely because the average member of that community had a postgraduate degree, according to William McCarthy, adjunct associate professor of public health at the University of California-Los Angeles.
The smoking rate among military personnel was higher than the average. At nearly 27%, Marines "by far" had the highest tobacco use rate in the military, the study found (Los Angeles Times, 9/7).