Demographic Factors in Adult Smoking Status: Mediating and Moderating Influences

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In the current study mediators and moderators ofdemographic factors in smoking behavior were examined. Those withlow education levels were more likely to smoke, believed less in thenegative health effects of smoking, believed more in the positivepsychological benefits of smoking, had lower value on a healthylifestyle, and had more friends who smoked. Although all of thesefactors significantly mediated education effects on smoking, numberof friends who smoke was the most powerful of these mediators. Therewere no gender differences in smoking rates. However, compared withmen, smoking among women was more strongly related to perceivedpsychological benefits of smoking, number of friends who smoke, andhealth beliefs about smoking. Implications for targetingintervention at less educated individuals and women arediscussed.

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