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Associations of smoking prevalence with individual and area level social cohesion
  1. Joan M Patterson1,
  2. Lynn E Eberly1,
  3. Yingmei Ding2,
  4. Margaret Hargreaves2
  1. 1University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, USA
  2. 2Hennepin County Community Health Department, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor J M Patterson
 Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 South 2nd St, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA;


Study objective: To discover if area level social cohesion, neighbourhood safety, and home safety are associated with current cigarette smoking among adults after adjustment for concentrations of poverty and low education.

Design: Cross sectional survey of a random sample of adults, stratified by 19 geographical areas.

Setting: SHAPE, Survey of the Health of Adults, the Population, and the Environment—conducted in 1998 by the Hennepin County Community Health Department and the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support in Minnesota.

Participants: 5256 men and 4806 women, 18 years and older, randomly selected from 19 geographical areas in an urban county.

Main results: Overall, 21.2% of survey respondents reported current cigarette smoking. Both higher area level social cohesion (OR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.74 to 0.98) and higher individual social cohesion (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.92 to 0.99) were associated with lower likelihoods of smoking. Similar models were obtained for neighbourhood safety and home safety.

Conclusions: These findings contribute to the growing literature on the important role of social cohesion and other area level characteristics on smoking behaviour among adults.

  • smoking
  • social cohesion
  • neighbourhood deprivation
  • multilevel analyses

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  • Funding: none.

  • Competing interests: none declared.

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