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Disaggregating Canadian immigrant smoking behaviour by country of birth


  • Newbold, K. Bruce
  • Neligan, David


As of the 2006 census, nearly one fifth of Canada's population was foreign-born. With such a sizeable and fast-growing immigrant population, research in immigrant health in Canada is increasingly important, including research on the smoking behaviours of Canada's immigrants. Research has shown that immigrants are significantly less likely to smoke than non-immigrants, yet differences by immigrant origins have yet to be fully explored. This paper explores smoking prevalence and cessation amongst immigrants in Canada disaggregated by country of birth. Additionally, it examines the impact of neighbourhood level effects on smoking cessation to determine if residential location has an impact on the likelihood of quitting. Results reveal important heterogeneities previously unseen in studies employing aggregate data. While immigrants in general were less likely to smoke than non-immigrants, and are also more likely to quit than non-immigrants, considerable variation exists between immigrant groups defined by origin region or country. 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. The research illustrates the need for disaggregated data to account for the diversity of Canada's immigrant population.

Suggested Citation

  • Newbold, K. Bruce & Neligan, David, 2012. "Disaggregating Canadian immigrant smoking behaviour by country of birth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(6), pages 997-1005.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:6:p:997-1005
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.05.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Duncan, Craig & Jones, Kelvyn & Moon, Graham, 1999. "Smoking and deprivation: are there neighbourhood effects?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 497-505, February.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:9:1424-1430_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dunn, James R. & Dyck, Isabel, 2000. "Social determinants of health in Canada's immigrant population: results from the National Population Health Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(11), pages 1573-1593, December.
    4. James Ted McDonald & Steven Kennedy, 2005. "Ethnicity, Immigration and Cancer Screening: Evidence for Canadian Women," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 145, McMaster University.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1998:88:10:1503-1509_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2003:93:4:642-646_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ross, Nancy A. & Tremblay, Stéphane & Graham, Katie, 2004. "Neighbourhood influences on health in Montréal, Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 1485-1494, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. D. Omariba & Edward Ng, 2015. "Health literacy and disability: differences between generations of Canadian immigrants," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(3), pages 389-397, March.


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