Back to Journals » Patient Preference and Adherence » Volume 12

Ethno-specific preferences of cigarette smoking and smoking initiation among canadian immigrants – A multi-level analysis

Authors Bird Y, Forbeteh K, Nwankwo C, Moraros J

Received 17 July 2018

Accepted for publication 30 August 2018

Published 1 October 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1965—1973


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Yelena Bird, Killian Forbeteh, Chijioke Nwankwo, John Moraros

School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

Background: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality worldwide. Over the last decade, increased immigration has significantly shifted Canada’s demographic profile. According to a 2011 National Household Survey, approximately 20.6% of the Canadian population was immigrants, the highest among the G8 countries. It is estimated that by 2031, one-in-three Canadian’s will be an immigrant. This study examined the ethno-specific preference of cigarette smoking and smoking initiation among Canadian immigrants.
Methods: This study used data from the 2013 to 2014 combined cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey. This was a nationally generalizable, telephone-based survey that included a total of 130,000 respondents, aged 12 years or older. Ethnic differences in the preference of cigarette use among Canadian immigrant groups were determined. A three-level mixed effects logistic regression model was used to estimate the effect of ethnicity on the likelihood of smoking initiation after migration to Canada.
Results: In our study, 82% of respondents were native-born Canadians (one group), while the rest were immigrants (six groups=18%). Results of the logistic regression analysis revealed statistically significant differences in the number of cigarettes smoked daily (P=0.0001), age of smoking onset (P=0.0001), and smoking initiation (P=0.0001) between Canadian-born and immigrant participants. Immigrant smokers in Canada were significantly more likely to be younger, single, Caucasian, females with high income and post-secondary education (P=0.0001).
Conclusion: The results of our study suggest that Caucasian female immigrants in Canada initiated smoking at a younger age and smoked more cigarettes than any other immigrant group or native-born Canadians. This is a particularly interesting finding as Caucasian female immigrants may not be considered a vulnerable or at-risk population. To be effective, tobacco strategies specifically tailored for this overlooked population would require increased awareness, culturally appropriate initiatives, and gender-specific interventions.

Keywords: cigarette smoking, initiation, ethnicity, immigrants, Canada

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]