Employment and social "determinants" of smoking in urbanizing China: A representative survey

D Ding, M. F Hovell, M Ji, C. R Hofstetter, P Zheng, H Fu and S. C. Hughes

Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2009, 11(7), 779-784. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntp060



This study explored social determinants of smoking among a sample of male Chinese adults in Changqiao, a community representing the transition from traditional to a "mobile" urban culture in China. New commercial systems have introduced high profits but also layoffs in the absence of government security systems.


In-person interviews were conducted by trained interviewers with 123 male participants selected at random. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were computed based on the Behavioral Ecological Model (BEM). About 61% of male participants were ever-smokers and 48% were current smokers.


Current smoking was associated with involuntary unemployment (odds ratio [OR] = 6.52), the absence of home smoking restrictions (OR = 0.34), and social reinforcement such as friends’ smoking (OR = 4.02) and receiving smoking-related gifts (OR = 6.39).


Findings support the BEM. It is especially important to verify the relationship between unemployment and smoking, given the recent rise in involuntary job loss due to the transitional economy in China.

ASCI-ID: 1161-540