Urban Indians' smoking patterns and interest in quitting

Harry A Lando, K. M. Johnson, R. P. Graham-Tomasi, P. G. McGovern, L. Solberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Little is known about smoking patterns of urban American Indians and their interest in quitting. Most published research has focused upon American Indians who live on rural reservations. In this study, personal interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of patients at Urban Indian Health Clinics in four geographically diverse sites: Milwaukee, WI, Minneapolis, MN, and Seattle and Spokane, WA. A total of 419 current smokers and 173 ex- smokers completed interviews. Current smokers reported a median cigarette consumption of 11 per day. Smokers indicated both a moderate desire to quit (mean 5.97, on a scale 0-10) and moderate confidence in their ability to do so (mean 5.56, on a scale 0-10). More than 70 percent of current smokers indicated having previously tried to quit. The most common reasons cited for relapse included craving, social situations, stress, and nervousness. The most common reasons for quitting given by ex-smokers included being 'sick' of smoking, health concerns, respiratory problems, and pregnancy. The estimated quit-ratio (former smokers divided by current + former smokers) was 29.7 percent. This quit-ratio, although substantial, is lower than the 45 percent quit-ratio reported for the general U.S. population. Perhaps the most striking findings are the similarities between American Indians and the overall population in both interest in quitting and reasons for doing so. Smoking cessation previously has been viewed as a low priority for this population. The current results suggest the viability of systematic efforts to encourage urban American Indians to quit smoking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-344
Number of pages5
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


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