ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to identify whether the factors affecting the smoking behaviors of low-income people differ from those affecting the high-income people in order to abate the socioeconomic inequalities in smoking. This research used the third wave data of the Korea Welfare Panel Study and undertook the multivariate logistic analysis for a total of 11,739 survey respondents constituting 7,745 high-income people and 3,994 low-income people who were stratified by gender and an income level. The analysis found that the age-standardized smoking rates of low-income is significantly higher(men 53.9%, women 6.2%) than the others(men 48.0%, women 2.8%) and the factors affecting the smoking behaviors of low-income people differed from those affecting the high-income people. Common factors for men, regardless of an income level, included old age, economic inactivity, house ownership, poor health, and overall low satisfaction with life; common factors for women included divorce, separation, bereavement, and house ownership (P<0.05). However, a low-level of education and unmarried status had significant impacts on high-income male smokers while divorce, separation, bereavement, and low self-esteem had significant effects on low-income male smokers (P<0.05). Moreover, smoking of high-income women were significantly affected by a low level of education, unmarried status, economic inactivity, and low self-esteem while that of low-income women were significantly influenced by old age and household type (P<0.05). Therefore, not only existing universal approaches to all of the smoking people but also targeted strategies for low-income people with a higher smoking rate are required to enhance the effectiveness of anti-smoking policy. In particular, the psychosocial factors such as self-esteem, household type, & marital status need more attentions.

KEYWORD

Low-income People, Smoking, Inequality

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