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Measuring age-specific variations in income-related inequalities in smoking behavior in Germany.

Siegel M
Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine (Taylor & Francis)
(DOI: 10.1080/21642850.2014.891946)




Although monitoring smoking behavior is considered as most important to tackle the smoking epidemic, empirical evidence concerning age-specific variations of its income-related inequalities still seems scarce. This paper uses a semiparametric extension of the concentration index to measure age-specific variations of income-related inequalities in smoking behavior. First, current smoking is used to describe peoples’ actual smoking status. Second, ever-smoking is included to approximate how inequalities in smoking behavior changed with the evolution of the smoking epidemic. Finally, smoking cessation is considered to indicate an individual's ability to conquer the habit. Cross-sectional data from the 2009 survey of the German microcensus reveal that current smoking is most prevalent among adolescents and young adults, more common among the worse-off in younger age groups and concentrated among the better-off in older age groups. Concentration of ever-smoking among the economically deprived is only found for younger adults. Smoking cessation is more common among higher income ever-smokers in all age groups. One may deduce from these results that anti-smoking policies should particularly aim at younger individuals in lower-income households.

Copyright: © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis

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