Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 339–358 | Cite as

Links Between Socio-Economic Circumstances and Changes in Smoking Behavior in the Mexican Population: 2002–2010

  • Hiram Beltrán-SánchezEmail author
  • Duncan Thomas
  • Graciela Teruel
  • Felicia Wheaton
  • Eileen M. Crimmins


While deleterious consequences of smoking on health have been widely publicized, in many developing countries, smoking prevalence is high and increasing. Little is known about the dynamics underlying changes in smoking behavior. This paper examines socio-economic and demographic characteristics associated with smoking initiation and quitting in Mexico between 2002 and 2010. In addition to the influences of age, gender, education, household economic resources and location of residence, changes in marital status, living arrangements and health status are examined. Drawing data from the Mexican Family Life Survey, a rich population-based longitudinal study of individuals, smoking behavior of individuals in 2002 is compared with their behavior in 2010. Logistic models are used to examine socio-demographic and health factors that are associated with initiating and quitting smoking. There are three main findings. First, part of the relationship between education and smoking reflects the role of economic resources. Second, associations of smoking with education and economic resources differ for females and males. Third, there is considerable heterogeneity in the factors linked to smoking behavior in Mexico indicating that the smoking epidemic may be at different stages in different population subgroups. Mexico has recently implemented fiscal policies and public health campaigns aimed at reducing smoking prevalence and discouraging smoking initiation. These programs are likely to be more effective if they target particular socio-economic and demographic sub-groups.


Smoking Smoking cessation Smoking onset Education Expenditure Mexico 



The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Financial support was provided by grants from Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies the National Institute on Aging: R01AG030668, T32AG000037, and P30AG17265, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, R01HD047522, and Fogarty International Center, D43TW007699.


  1. Arillo-Santillán, E., Lazcano-Ponce, E., Hernández-Avila, M., Fernández, E., Allen, B., Valdés-Salgado, R., & Samet, J. (2005). Associations between individual and contextual factors and smoking in 13,293 Mexican students. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(1), 41–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bird, Y., Moraros, J., Olsen, L. K., Forster-Cox, S., Buckingham, R. W., & Staines-Orozco, H. (2007). Smoking practices, risk perception of smoking, and environmental tobacco smoke exposure among 6th-grade students in ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 9(2), 195–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Buttenheim, A. M., Wong, R., Goldman, N., & Pebley, A. R. (2010). Does social status predict adult smoking and obesity? results from the 2000 Mexican national health survey. Global Public Health, 5(4), 413–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Deaton, A. (1997). The analysis of household surveys: A microeconometric approach to development policy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Franco-Marina, F. (2007). Adult smoking trends in Mexico: an analysis of the Mexican national addiction surveys. Salud Pública de México, 49(Suppl. 2), 137–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Franco-Marina, F., & Lazcano-Ponce, E. (2010). Tendencias del tabaquismo en adultos en México entre 1988 y 2008 (adult smoking trends in mexico between 1988 and 2008). Salud Pública de México, 52(Suppl. 2), S108–S119.Google Scholar
  7. Gilman, S. E., Abrams, D. B., & Buka, S. L. (2003). Socioeconomic status over the life course and stages of cigarette use: initiation, regular use, and cessation. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 57(10), 802–808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Herd, P., Goesling, B., & House, J. S. (2007). Socioeconomic position and health: the differential effects of education versus income on the onset versus progression of health problems. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 48(3), 223–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jimenez-Ruiz, J., de Miera, B. S., Reynales-Shigematsu, L. M., Waters, H. R., & Hernández-Ávila, M. (2008). The impact of taxation on tobacco consumption in Mexico. Tobacco Control, 17(2), 105–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Keenan, P. S. (2009). Smoking and weight change after new health diagnoses in older adults. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(3), 237–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kenkel, D., Lillard, D. R., & Liu, F. (2009). An analysis of life-course smoking behavior in china. Health Economics, 18(Suppl 2), S147–S156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Konfino, J., Ferrante, D., Mejia, R., Coxson, P., Moran, A., Goldman, L., & Perez-Stable, E. J. (2012). Impact on cardiovascular disease events of the implementation of Argentina’s national tobacco control law. Tobacco Control, 0, 1–8.Google Scholar
  13. Kuri-Morales, P. A., González-Roldán, J. F., Hoy, M. J., & Cortés-Ramírez, M. (2006). Epidemiología del tabaquismo en México (th epidemiology of smoking in mexico). Salud Pública de México, 48(1), S91–S98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Li, L., Borland, R., Yong, H. H., Fong, G. T., Bansal-Travers, M., Quah, A. C. K., Sirirassamee, B., Omar, M., Zanna, M. P., & Fotuhi, O. (2010). Predictors of smoking cessation among adult smokers in malaysia and thailand: findings from the international tobacco control southeast asia survey. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12(Suppl. 1), S34–S44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lopez, A. D., Collishaw, N. E., & Piha, T. (1994). A descriptive model of the cigarette epidemic in developed countries. Tobacco Control, 3(3), 242–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lotrean, L. M., Sánchez-Zamorano, L. M., Valdés-Salgado, R., Arillo-Santillán, E., Allen, B., Hernández-Avila, M., & Lazcano-Ponce, E. (2005). Consumption of higher numbers of cigarettes in Mexican youth: the importance of social permissiveness of smoking. Addictive Behaviors, 30(5), 1035–1041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Menezes, A. M., Lopez, M. V., Hallal, P. C., Muino, A., Perez-Padilla, R., Jardim, J. R., Valdivia, G., Pertuze, J., de Oca, M. M., Talamo, C., & Victora, C. G. (2009). Prevalence of smoking and incidence of initiation in the latin american adult population: The platino study. BMC Public Health, 9(151), 151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Messer, K., Trinidad, D. R., Al-Delaimy, W. K., & Pierce, J. P. (2008). Smoking cessation rates in the United States: a comparison of young adult and older smokers. American Journal of Public Health, 98(2), 317–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Miera-Juárez, B. S., Jiménez-Ruiz, J. A., Reynales-Shigematsu, L. M., Lazcano-Ponce, E., & Hernández-Ávila, M. (2007). Household tobacco consumption in Mexico, 1994–2005. Salud Pública de México, 49(Suppl. 2), 263–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Olivera-Chávez, R. I., Cermeño-Bazán, R., Miera-Juárez, B. S., Jiménez-Ruiz, J. A., & Reynales-Shigematsu, L. M. (2010). El efecto del precio del tabaco sobre el consumo: Un análisis de datos agregados para México (the effect of tobacco prices on consumption: a time series data analysis for Mexico). Salud Pública de México, 52(supl. 2), S197–S205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pampel, F. C. (2010). Divergent patterns of smoking across high income nations. In E. M. Crimmins, S. H. Preston, & B. Cohen (Eds.), International differences in mortality at older ages: Dimensions and sources. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  22. Preston, S. H., Glei, D. A., & Wilmoth, J. R. (2009). A new method for estimating smoking-attributable mortality in high-income countries. International Journal of Epidemiology, 39(2), 430–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Preston, S. H., Glei, D. A., & Wilmoth, J. R. (2010). Contribution of smoking to international differences in life expectancy. In E. M. Crimmins, S. H. Preston, & B. Cohen (Eds.), International differences in mortality at older ages: Dimensions and sources. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  24. Reid, J. L., Hammond, D., Boudreau, C., Fong, G. T., & Siahpush, M. (2010). Socioeconomic disparities in quit intentions, quit attempts, and smoking abstinence among smokers in four western countries: findings from the international tobacco control four country survey. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12(Suppl 1), S20–S33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ritterman, M. L., Fernald, L. C., Ozer, E. J., Adler, N. E., Gutierrez, J. P., & Syme, S. L. (2009). Objective and subjective social class gradients for substance use among Mexican adolescents. Social Science & Medicine, 68(10), 1843–1851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rubalcava, L., & Teruel, G. (2006a). Mexican family life survey, second round, from
  27. Rubalcava, L., & Teruel, G. (2006b). User’s guide for the mexican family life survey first wave, from
  28. Sáenz-de-Miera, B., Thrasher, J. F., Chaloupka, F. J., Waters, H. R., Hernandez-Avila, M., & Fong, G. T. (2010). Self-reported price of cigarettes, consumption and compensatory behaviours in a cohort of Mexican smokers before and after a cigarette tax increase. Tobacco Control, 19(6), 481–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Siahpush, M., Singh, G. K., Jones, P. R., & Timsina, L. R. (2010). Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic variations in duration of smoking: results from 2003, 2006 and 2007 tobacco use supplement of the current population survey. Journal of Public Health (Oxford, England), 32(2), 210–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Smith, K. V., & Goldman, N. (2007). Socioeconomic differences in health among older adults in Mexico. Social Science & Medicine, 65(7), 1372–1385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Thrasher, J. F., Jackson, C., Arillo-Santillán, E., & Sargent, J. D. (2008). Exposure to smoking imagery in popular films and adolescent smoking in Mexico. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 35(2), 95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Thrasher, J. F., Boado, M., Sebrie, E. M., & Bianco, E. (2009). Smoke-free policies and the social acceptability of smoking in Uruguay and Mexico: findings from the international tobacco control policy evaluation project. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 11(6), 591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Thrasher, J. F., Pérez-Hernández, R., Swayampakala, K., Arillo-Santillán, E., & Bottai, M. (2010). Policy support, norms, and secondhand smoke exposure before and after implementation of a comprehensive smoke-free law in Mexico city. American Journal of Public Health, 100(9), 1789–1798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vázquez-Segovia, L. A., Sesma-Vázquez, S., & Hernández-Avila, M. (2002). El consumo de tabaco en los hogares en México: resultados de la encuesta de ingresos y gastos de los hogares, 1984–2000. Salud Pública de México, 44(Suppl. 1), 76–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Villalobos, A., & Rojas, R. (2007). Consumo de tabaco en México. Resultados de las encuestas nacionales de salud 2000 y 2006. Salud Pública de México, 49(Suppl. 2), S147–S154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Whitson, H. E., Heflin, M. T., & Burchett, B. M. (2006). Patterns and predictors of smoking cessation in an elderly cohort. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 54(3), 466–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wong, R., Ofstedal, M. B., Yount, K., & Agree, E. M. (2008). Unhealthy lifestyles among older adults: exploring transitions in Mexico and the U.S. European Journal of Ageing, 5(4), 311–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. World Health Assembly. (1999). Resolution wha 52.18: towards a who framework convention on tobacco control. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  39. World Health Organization. (2011). Who report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2011: Warning about the dangers of tobacco. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Duncan Thomas
    • 2
  • Graciela Teruel
    • 3
  • Felicia Wheaton
    • 4
  • Eileen M. Crimmins
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Population & Development StudiesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Economics DepartmentDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Departamento de EconomíaUniversidad IberoamericanaMexico CityMexico
  4. 4.Andrus Gerontology CenterUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations