Does neighborhood social cohesion modify the relationship between neighborhood social norms and smoking behaviors in Mexico?

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The aim of this study was to examine the separate and combined relationships of neighborhood social norms and neighborhood social cohesion with smoking behavior in a cohort of adult Mexican smokers. Neighborhood anti-smoking norms were measured as the proportion of residents in each neighborhood who believed that society disapproves of smoking. Perceived social cohesion was measured using a 5-item cohesion scale and aggregated to the neighborhood level. Higher neighborhood anti-smoking norms were associated with less successful quitting. Neighborhood social cohesion modified the relationship between neighborhood social norms and two smoking behaviors: smoking intensity and quit attempts. Residents of neighborhoods with weaker anti-smoking norms and higher social cohesion had lower smoking intensity and more quit attempts than residents living in other areas. Social cohesion may help buffer smoking behavior in areas with weak social norms.

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