Influence of neighborhood deprivation, gender and ethno-racial origin on smoking behavior of Canadian youth Academic Article uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: Deprived neighborhoods play an important role in adult smoking behavior, but little research exists about youth on this topic. This study explored the relationship between deprivation and youth smoking to examine whether this association differs by gender and ethno-racial origin. METHODS: Individual-level data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2000-2005) were combined with neighborhood-level data from the 2001 Canada Census to assess smoking among youth aged 12-18 (n = 15,615). RESULTS: Youth who were female (OR = 1.27, 95%CI:1.16-1.38), White (OR = 1.95, 95%CI:1.71-2.21) and living in deprived neighborhoods (OR = 1.22, 95%CI:1.16-1.28) were more likely to smoke. In multilevel models, White females were more likely to smoke relative to non-White females and males (OR = 1.42, 95%CI:1.06-1.89). Youth with a strong sense of community belonging and living in deprived neighborhoods were at increased risk of smoking (OR = 1.18, 95%CI:1.06-1.32). The individual-level risk factor, household smoker, contributed substantially to youth smoking reducing the bivariate association between material deprivation and smoking by 33%. CONCLUSION: White females, youth cohabiting with other smokers and youth living in poor neighborhoods with a strong sense of community belonging, are at an increased risk of smoking. Future anti-smoking efforts might have greater impact if they target at-risk youth as well as household members who cohabit with youth.


  • Matheson, Flora I
  • LaFreniere, Marie C
  • White, Heather L
  • Moineddin, Rahim
  • Dunn, James
  • Glazier, Richard H

publication date

  • May 2011