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Independent associations between different measures of socioeconomic position and smoking status: A cross-sectional study of adults in England

Beard, E; Brown, J; Jackson, S; West, R; Kock, L; Boniface, S; Shahab, L; (2020) Independent associations between different measures of socioeconomic position and smoking status: A cross-sectional study of adults in England. Nicotine and Tobacco Research , Article ntaa030. 10.1093/ntr/ntaa030. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction: To gain a better understanding of the complex and independent associations between different measures of socioeconomic position (SEP) and smoking in England. Aims and Methods: Between March 2013 and January 2019 data were collected from 120 496 adults aged 16+ in England taking part in the Smoking Toolkit Study. Of these, 18.04% (n = 21 720) were current smokers. Six indicators of SEP were measured: social grade, employment status, educational qualifications, home and car ownership and income. Models were constructed using ridge regression to assess the contribution of each measure of SEP, taking account of high collinearity. Results:: The strongest predictor of smoking status was housing tenure. Those who did not own their own home had twice the odds of smoking compared with homeowners (odds ratio [OR] = 2.01). Social grade, educational qualification, and income were also good predictors. Those in social grades C1 (OR = 1.04), C2 (OR = 1.29), D (OR = 1.39), and E (OR = 1.78) had higher odds of smoking than those in social grade AB. Similarly, those with A-level/equivalent (OR = 1.15), GCSE/vocational (OR = 1.48), other/still studying (OR = 1.12), and no post-16 qualifications (OR = 1.48) had higher odds of smoking than those with university qualifications, as did those who earned in the lowest (OR = 1.23), third (OR = 1.18), and second quartiles (OR = 1.06) compared with those earning in the highest. Associations between smoking and employment (OR = 1.03) and car ownership (OR = 1.05) were much smaller. Conclusions: Of a variety of socioeconomic measures, housing tenure appears to be the strongest independent predictor of smoking in England, followed by social grade, educational qualifications, and income. Employment status and car ownership have the lowest predictive power. Implications: This study used ridge regression, a technique which takes into account high collinearity between variables, to gain a better understanding of the independent associations between different measures of SEP and smoking in England. The findings provide guidance as to which SEP measures one could use when trying to identifying individuals most at risk from smoking, with housing tenure identified as the strongest independent predictor.

Type: Article
Title: Independent associations between different measures of socioeconomic position and smoking status: A cross-sectional study of adults in England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntaa030
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntaa030
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090686
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