Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 166–173 | Cite as

The relationship between smoking history and current functioning in disabled community-living older adults

  • Amie L. HaasEmail author
  • Catherine Eng
  • Glenna Dowling
  • Eva Schmitt
  • Sharon M. Hall


Purpose: This study was conducted to determine characteristics associated with continued cigarette use in frail older adults and to examine how smoking history relates to current psychiatric, cognitive, and occupational functioning.Methods: Archival records were gathered for 1,064 patients (69% women) who entered On Lok SeniorHealth Services between January 1996 and December 2000. Participants were interviewed on program entry and assessed for smoking history, depressive symptoms, affective disorders, cognitive functioning, alcohol use, and physical functioning (activities of daily living [ADLs] and instrumental ADLs). Cross-sectional analyses were conducted to examine functioning at enrollment relative to smoking history.Results: Smoking history was related to age at program entry, with current smokers entering On Lok at an earlier age than former or never smokers. Current smokers were more likely to be male, to be of Caucasian or African American descent, to consume alcohol on a regular basis, and to be more independent on ADLs. Specifically, they were more independent on tasks related to their capacity to procure cigarettes or continue smoking, including shopping, using transportation, managing money, dressing themselves, and walking. Smoking history was related to depression, with symptoms lower for current and former smokers.Conclusions: Current smokers present for services at an earlier age and have higher levels of independence on ADLs instrumental to nicotine use. Data indicate characteristics associated with continued smoking and provide a foundation for targeting older individuals for cessation efforts.


Nicotine Current Smoker Smoking History Geriatric Depression Scale American Geriatrics Society 
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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amie L. Haas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Catherine Eng
    • 2
  • Glenna Dowling
    • 3
  • Eva Schmitt
    • 3
  • Sharon M. Hall
    • 4
  1. 1.San Francisco Treatment Research Center and Department of PsychiatryUniversity of alifornia at San FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.University of California at San Francisco and On Lok SeniorHealth ServicesDivision of GeriatricsSan Francisco
  3. 3.Goldman Institute on Aging San Francisco
  4. 4.San Francisco Treatment Research Center and Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California at San FranciscoUSA

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