Data from a state-wide survey of California middle and high school students (N=20,203) were used to assess whether county income inequality and poverty rates were associated with adolescent smoking. Greater county income inequality, but not poverty rates, was associated with higher established smoking risk (p=0.0019). The association was stronger in males than females, whites than other ethnic groups, and urban than rural settings. Neither county income inequality nor poverty rates were associated with experimental smoking. The findings suggest that it may be important to consider and address economic inequality in the prevention and control of adolescent tobacco use.
- Income inequality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Health(social science)