Did You Know? Rural Women Lag Behind Rural Men, Urban Men And Urban Women In Decreasing Smoking

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Smoking prevalence is declining at a slower rate in rural than urban settings in the U.S. and known predictors of smoking do not readily account for this trend difference. A recently published study examined whether smoking trends are different for rural and urban men and women. Researchers analyzed data (n = 303,311) from the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from 2007 through 2014 to compare cigarette smoking trends in men and women across rural and urban areas.


Findings included:

  • Whereas the smoking trends of rural men, urban men, and urban women significantly declined from 2007 to 2014, the trend for rural women was flat.
  • Controlling for demographic, socioeconomic and psychosocial predictors of smokingdid not explain rural women’s significantly different trend from those of the other three groups.


The researchers concluded that rural women lag behind rural men, urban men and urban women in decreasing smoking, a health disparity finding that supports the need for tobacco control and regulatory policies and interventions that are more effective in reducing smokingamong rural women.

New Publication on Rural Health Equity from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Achieving Rural Health Equity and Well-Being: Proceedings of a Workshop (2018)
Rural counties make up about 80 percent of the land area of the United States, but they contain less than 20 percent of the U.S. population. The relative sparseness of the population in rural areas is one of many factors that influence the health and well-being of rural Americans. Rural areas have histories, economies, and cultures that differ from those of cities and from one rural area to another. Understanding these differences is critical to taking steps to improve health and well-being in rural areas and to reduce health disparities among rural populations. To explore the impacts of economic, demographic, and social issues in rural communities and to learn about asset-based approaches to addressing the associated challenges, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop on June 13, 2017. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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