Introduction Tobacco smoking is a great public health problem. Its evaluation and monitoring is important to identify risk groups and help guiding public policies.
Objectives To describe the prevalence of daily tobacco smoking according to sex, age, per capita household income and occupation of residents over 15-year old in Brazil and macro-regions.
Methods We analysed data of 252.768 individuals from the 2008 Brazilian National Survey, the Pesquisa Nacional por Amostragem de Domicílios (PNAD/IBGE). The analysis was adjusted for the sampling design. Multivariate Poisson regression models were used to associate occupational variables to smoking.
Results Daily smoking prevalence in Brazil was 15.1%, varying from 12.0% in North region to 17.4% in Southern region, and was 62.0% higher in men compared to women. Higher proportion of male smokers was between 50 and 59 years old and in women the peak was from 40 to 49 years old. Smoking was inversely proportional to household income, varying from 11.5% among the 20% richest to 18.6% among the 20.0% poorest. Same trends for gender, age and income were observed in the different regions of Brazil. Daily cigarette consumption was 32.0% higher among workers compared to non-workers. White collar workers presented a smoking prevalence below 10.0%, while blue collar workers had rates above 20.0%. The association between smoking and occupation remained after the adjustment for sex, age and household income (p<0.001).
Conclusions the inequalities found should be considered when developing effective strategies to smoking control and cessation. The occupational groups more exposed should have priority in the interventions.
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