Smoking prevalence and cessation amongst immigrants to Canada
Authors: David Neligan
As of the 2006 census, nearly one fifth of Canada’s total population was foreign born. With such a sizeable and fast-growing immigrant population, research in immigrant health in Canada is increasingly important. While there is a wealth of literature on immigrant health in general, very little is known about the smoking behaviours of Canada’s immigrants. Research has shown that immigrant s are significantly less likely to smoke than non-immigrants, yet differences between immigrants have yet to be fully explored. This thesis attempts to explore the smoking behaviours of immigrants in Canada disaggregated by country of birth to reveal heterogeneity previously unseen in studies employing aggregate data. Through disaggregating by country of birth immigrants with elevated risks of smoking can be targeted in order to inform tailored cessation initiatives. Additionally, this thesis examines the impact of neighbourhood level effects on smoking cessation amongst immigrants to determine if where one lives has an impact on their likelihood of quitting smoking. Through the use of multivariate analysis including logistic regression and multilevel modeling this study found that while immigrants in general were less likely to smoke than non-immigrants and more likely to quit, considerable variation existed between immigrant groups. Asian immigrants were the least likely to smoke but exhibited the greatest variation between countries of origin. Vietnamese men were found to be the most likely immigrant group to smoke and among the least likely to quit. While neighbourhood disadvantage was negatively associated with quitting smoking, it is not as important as individual socioeconomic characteristics in explaining variations in smoking cessation. This research illustrates the need for disaggregation in immigrant health research to account for the great diversity of Canada’s immigrant population.
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