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.
- 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.