Cross-national gender differences in the socioeconomic factors associated with smoking in Australia, the United States of America and South Korea

Davina J. French, Soong-Nang Jang, Robert J. Tait, Kaarin J. Anstey
2012 International Journal of Public Health  
Objectives We compared rates of smoking among those aged 45 years and older in Australia, the United States of America and South Korea, and examined cross-national gender differences in key socioeconomic differentials in smoking. Methods We conducted weighted analyses on cross-sectional data from nationally representative surveys conducted in 2006. Results Current smoking was more prevalent for males than females in all countries; the gender difference was largest in Korea. Being unpartnered
more » ... reased the likelihood of smoking in all countries, while greater wealth reduced it. In Korea these effects interacted with gender; both indicators showed larger differentials among women than men. Lower educational attainment increased the likelihood of smoking for all groups except Korean women, among whom high school educated women were less likely to smoke than the tertiary educated. Conclusions Our findings support a cultural interpretation of gender differences in smoking: in countries with low gender empowerment, gender differences in smoking are greater. With increasing divorce and female tertiary education rates in nations like Korea, we highlight the need for health promotion messages targeted towards older and more educated women.
doi:10.1007/s00038-012-0430-5 pmid:23203478 fatcat:dwtsnksnffd53bnzwvg7vcgosm