Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 1607–1614 | Cite as

Smoke-free environments: age, sex, and educational disparity in 25 Argentinean cities

  • Veronica Schoj
  • Lorena Allemandi
  • Oscar Ianovsky
  • Manuel Lago
  • Mariela Alderete
Original paper



There is scarce evidence of secondhand smoke (SHS) and disparity in developing countries. We evaluated the relationship between socio-demographic variables and secondhand smoke-related factors in Argentina.


We conducted a randomized telephone survey (2008/2009) in 25 Argentinean cities. We included a sample of 160 respondents per city stratified by sex and age. We used different generalized multivariate regression models with a confidence interval of 95 % for the five outcome variables.


We sampled 4,000 respondents, 52.2 % women, 36 % adolescents and young adults (15–29 years), 58 % ≥12 years of education, and 72.6 % nonsmokers. Support to 100 % smoke-free environment legislation was higher in older than in younger respondents, OR = 1.5 (IC: 1.2–2.0), and in people with higher education levels, OR = 1.2 (IC: 1.1–1.4). Exposure to SHS was significantly lower in men than in women at home and in public places, IRR = 0.7 (IC: 0.5–0.9) and IRR  = 0.8 (IC: 0.6–0.9), respectively. Older respondents reported lower exposure at home and in public places than adolescents and young adults, IRR = 0.6 (IC: 0.4–0.8) and IRR = 0.4 (IC: 0.3–0.5), respectively. People with higher education levels had a higher level of exposure in indoor public places than less educated people, IRR = 1.1 (IC: 1.1–1.2). Knowledge of respiratory disease in children caused by SHS exposure was lower in men than in women, RRR = 0.3 (IC: 0.1–0.6). Perceived compliance was higher in men than in women, OR = 1.4 (IC: 1.1–1.8) and in people with higher education levels, OR = 1.2 (IC: 1.1–1.4). Older and more educated respondents were more empowered than. younger and less educated people, OR = 1.5 (IC: 1.2–1.9) and OR = 1.2 (IC: 1.1–1.3), respectively. Reference groups for each variable were age: 15–29; education: ≤7 years; and sex: men.


This is the first study to explore socio-demographic variables regarding secondhand smoke in our country. Women and younger people are more vulnerable to SHS-related factors in Argentina.


Secondhand smoke Occupational exposure Smoke-free environment legislation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronica Schoj
    • 1
  • Lorena Allemandi
    • 1
  • Oscar Ianovsky
    • 1
  • Manuel Lago
    • 1
  • Mariela Alderete
    • 1
  1. 1.Fundación InterAmericana del Corazón-Argentina (FIC-Argentina)Buenos AiresArgentina

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