Psychology, Department of


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Soulakova, J.N.; Crockett, L.J. Current Use of Cigarettes in the United States: The Joint Role of Race/Ethnicity and Health Insurance Coverage. Healthcare 2023, 11, 3014. healthcare11233014


Open access.


The goal of this study was to assess the joint role of race/ethnicity and a health insurance coverage type (private, Medicare, Medicaid) in current cigarette use among adults in the U.S. Data from the 2019 Tobacco Use Supplement and the 2019 Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey were merged (n = 39,882). Bivariate associations between each coverage type and smoking prevalence were examined within each of six racial/ethnic groups. A multiple logistic regression model (for the odds of current cigarette use) was estimated to explore the interactions between race/ethnicity and an indicator of each type of coverage among Hispanic, non- Hispanic (NH) Black/African American, and NH White adults. All analyses included survey weights. Results of bivariate analyses indicated that private and Medicare coverage were associated with significantly lower smoking prevalence (compared to no such coverage), while Medicaid coverage was associated with significantly higher smoking prevalence (all p ≤ 0.05). Some of these associations were significant among NH Black/African American and NH White adults (all p ≤ 0.05). The model indicated that the interaction between race/ethnicity and the indicator of private coverage was significant (p = 0.044): private coverage was significantly associated with lower prevalence among NH White adults only (AOR = 0.59, 98.3%, CI = 0.46:0.76). In addition, Medicaid coverage was significantly associated with higher smoking prevalence (overall). The study points to possible racial/ethnic disparities in the quality of smoking-related health care that people with the same type of coverage receive and possible underutilization of health care services even among adults with health insurance coverage, especially among communities of color and Medicaid enrollees.

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