Social influences on smoking in middle-aged and older women

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Smoking; Women's Health; Middle Aged; Aged; Social Behavior; Health Behavior


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


The purpose of this study was to examine the role of 2 types of social influence-general social support and living with a smoker-on smoking behavior among middle-aged and older women in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study. Participants were postmenopausal women who reported smoking at some time in their lives (N = 37,027), who were an average age of 63.3 years at baseline. Analyses used multiple logistic regression and controlled for age, educational level, and ethnicity. In cross-sectional analyses, social support was associated with a lower likelihood and living with a smoker was associated with a higher likelihood of being a current smoker and, among smokers, of being a heavier smoker. Moreover, in prospective analyses among baseline smokers, social support predicted a higher likelihood and living with a smoker predicted a lower likelihood of smoking cessation 1-year later. Further, in prospective analyses among former smokers who were not smoking at baseline, social support predicted a lower likelihood and living with a smoker predicted a higher likelihood of smoking relapse 1-year later. Overall, the present results indicate that social influences are important correlates of smoking status, smoking level, smoking cessation, and smoking relapse among middle-aged and older women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).

DOI of Published Version



Psychol Addict Behav. 2011 Oct 17. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Psychology of addictive behaviors : journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID