Non-ceremonial tobacco use among southwestern rural American Indians: the New Mexico American Indian Behavioural Risk Factor Survey.

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OBJECTIVES: To ascertain non-ceremonial tobacco use among rural American Indians in New Mexico (United States).

DESIGN: A geographically targeted telephone survey.

SETTING: Rural New Mexico.

PARTICIPANTS: American Indian residents aged 18 years and older.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of ever-smokers and current smokers of cigarettes and ever-users and current users of smokeless tobacco, number of cigarettes smoked, and prevalence of cigarette smoking quitting behaviour.

RESULTS: Of the 1266 respondents, 38.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 34.5% to 42.1%) reported ever smoking, and 16.3% (95% CI = 13.5% to 19.0%) reported being current smokers. Current smokers averaged 7.6 (95% CI = 6.0 to 9.3) cigarettes per day. Current smoking prevalence was highest among men and lowest among college graduates. Prevalence of smokeless tobacco use was 24.1% for ever-use and 7.2% for current use and showed a strong male predominance of use.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of current smokers among rural American Indians in New Mexico was lower than among American Indians of other regions in the United States, all New Mexicans, and the national population as a whole. Although smoking prevalence was lower among American Indians in New Mexico, variation by sex and education followed the same patterns as reported among American Indians of other regions.