Year of Publication

2015

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Linda Alexander, EdD

Committee Member

Corrine Williams, ScD

Committee Member

Kathryn Cardarelli, PhD

Abstract

Introduction: Approximately 443,000 people die from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million people have a serious smoking-related illness, which costs nearly $96 billion in health-care expenditures and $97 billion in productivity losses annually in the United States. This study examined the association between alcohol consumption and smoking status, and how psychological distress can affect this association. Methods: Data come from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). We used binary logistic regression models to compute adjusted odds ratios between alcohol consumption and smoking status, controlling for age, gender, race, education, and income. We used chi-square model to test whether psychological distress affects the association between alcohol consumption and smoking status. Results: In comparison with non-drinkers, light drinkers were 1.26 times more likely to be everyday smokers (adjusted OR=1.26; 95%CI=1.23, 1.29), 1.59 times more likely to be someday smokers (adjusted OR=1.59; 95%CI=1.59, 1.65) and 1.49 times more likely to be former smokers (adjusted OR=1.49; 95%CI=1.47, 1.51). In comparison with non-drinkers, heavy drinkers were 3.03 times more likely to be everyday smokers (adjusted OR=3.03; 95%CI=2.94, 3.12), 3.10 times more likely to be someday smokers (adjusted OR=3.10; 95%CI=2.96, 3.24) and 2.44 times more likely to be former smokers (adjusted OR=2.44; 95%CI=2.38, 2.50). Discussion: We found that those who were light drinkers or heavy drinkers were more likely to be former smokers, someday smokers and everyday smokers than non-drinkers, even after controlling for possible con-founders. There was a surprising result that psychological distress did not significantly affect the relation between alcohol consumption and smoking status.

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