According to a new study, while smoking has declined in the United States, the rate of tobacco use in poorer communities is double the national average. In many populations, smoking was also associated to mental health issues and substance abuse disorders. The findings underline the need for focused smoking prevention and cessation initiatives in underserved communities in the United States, according to the researchers.
“Our research highlights the importance of better understanding the link between smoking and mental health conditions and substance use disorders in adults from underserved communities, as well as addressing socioeconomic risk factors to achieve better health outcomes,” said lead author Sue Lin of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
A 2014 survey
Her team looked at data from a 2014 survey to see how common smoking was among adults who got primary care at federally certified health clinics in the United States. Patients from disadvantaged populations, such as the homeless, agricultural workers, and inhabitants of public housing, are served by these institutions.
Smoking and Mental illnesses
The researchers also looked into the relationship between smoking and mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. According to a study published online March 7 in the journal Cancer, the smoking rate among people in impoverished communities was 28.1 percent, compared to 14 percent in the general US population. 59.1% of current smokers had depression, and 45.4 percent had anxiety.
Drug Abuse Problems
Smoking increased the likelihood of black people reporting substance use disorders by more than double. People living at or below the federal poverty level were more than twice as likely to have mental health problems, and those who were unemployed were more than three times as likely to have drug abuse problems.
“The findings also underlines the importance of personalised smoking cessation treatments for persons from underprivileged communities that will promote cancer prevention care.”