Method: The study analyzed data from the National Latino and Asian Americans Study(NLAAS), a nationally representative sample of Asian and Latino Americans interviewed in English or their native languages. Ever smokers were those who reported having smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime, or at the time of interview, identified themselves as current smokers (CDC, 2009). Smoking cessation is defined as being ever-smokers, but not self reported as current smokers. We created a neighborhood cohesion scale based on the result of factor analysis of items that measured the cohesion, reciprocity, and disorder in respondents' communities. We then constructed a series of logistic regression models to predict the cessation of smoking, stratified by race and gender. First, we examined the associations between smoking cessation and individual and family level variables. Next, we sequentially added the neighborhood factor to the model. All estimates and analyses were weighted to adjust for the complex survey design.
Results: A total of 1,807 respondents (including 1,131 Latinos and 676 Asian Americans), aging from 18-89, were identified as ever smokers. Overall, Latinos had a higher rate of ever smokers (44.2% vs. 32.3%), but lower rate of smoking cessation than Asian Americans (54.8% vs. 59%). Analysis showed that, at individual and family levels, only age was positively associated with smoking cessation for Latino men, while for Latino women, both age and income were positive and significant. . For Asian American men, higher income and education, and stronger religion belief were positively associated with smoking cessation, while experiencing discrimination or increased contacts with relatives were negatively associated with smoking cessation. For Asian women, except for age positively related with smoking cessation, increased levels of contacts with friends, relatives, or family conflict were all negatively related to smoking cessation. Most important, the study found that neighborhood cohesion was significantly and positively associated with smoking cessation for both Latinos and Asian Americans (slightly less so for Asian men).
Implications: The findings of this study provide strong evidence that neighborhood cohesion might be beneficial for smoking cessation. Smoking prevention and cessation interventions among Latinos and Asian American populations may be more effective if they adopt strategies to enhance social cohesion at community level.