Smoking-Cessation Assistance Among Older Adults by Ethnicity/Language Preference

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Introduction: Although smoking prevalence is lower among Hispanic adults than among non-Hispanic White adults, smoking remains a leading cause of preventable death among older Hispanics. This study examines the differences in tobacco assessment and smoking-cessation assistance among older patients seen in community health centers by ethnicity and language preference. Methods: Electronic health record data were extracted from the Accelerating Data Value Across a National Community Health Center Network of community health centers from patients aged 55‒80 years with ≥1 primary care visit between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018. Binary outcomes included tobacco use assessment and, among those with ≥1 status indicating current smoking, having a smoking-cessation medication ordered. The independent variable combined ethnicity and language preference, categorized as non-Hispanic White (reference), Spanish-preferring Hispanic, and English-preferring Hispanic. Multivariable generalized estimating equation logistic regressions, clustering by primary care clinic using an exchangeable working correlation structure, modeled the odds of tobacco use assessment and cessation medication orders by ethnicity/preferred language, adjusting for patient covariates, health system, and clinic location. Analyses were conducted in 2021. Results: The study included 116,328 patients. Spanish-preferring Hispanic patients had significantly lower odds of having tobacco use assessed than non-Hispanic White patients (AOR=0.89, 95% CI=0.82, 0.95). Both Spanish- and English-preferring Hispanic patients had lower odds of having a smoking-cessation medication ordered (AOR=0.53, 95% CI=0.47, 0.60; AOR=0.77, 95% CI=0.67, 0.89, respectively) than non-Hispanic White patients. Conclusions: Significant disparities were found in tobacco assessment and cessation assistance by ethnicity and language preference among older adults seen in safety-net clinics. Future research is needed to understand the etiology of these smoking-related disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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