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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 45–49 | Cite as

Cigarette Smoking, Mental Health and Social Support

Data from a Northwestern First Nation
  • Mark Daniel
  • Margaret D. Cargo
  • Julie Lifshay
  • Lawrence W. Green
Article

Abstract

Background

The prevalence of smoking is high in many Aboriginal Canadian communities; rates of 50% are not uncommon. Aboriginal Canadians suffer a severe burden of smoking-related disease. Research in other populations has linked depression and smoking. It is not known whether mental health or affective measures are related to smoking for any of Canada’s First Nations, and this study sought to answer this question. Understanding relations between affect and smoking behaviour is requisite to mounting anti-smoking interventions.

Methods

Smoking status and psychosocial measures including depression, mastery, affect balance and social support were obtained in a community-based chronic disease survey for a rural Interior Salishan First Nation in British Columbia (Plateau area). Persons surveyed were on-reserve residents (n=187), overweight (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2), with mean age of 44.1 years (standard deviation 15.0).

Results

The prevalence of smoking was 48.1%. Adjusted for age, sex and body mass index, smokers relative to nonsmokers had higher (p<0.010) depression (mean 21.3 [CI 95%, 19.1–23.4] vs. 16.1 [14.1–18.0]) and negative affect (18.6 [14.9–22.3] vs. 11.0 [7.6–14.4]), and lower mastery (36.4 [35.5–37.3] vs. 38.1 [37.2–38.9]). A positive relationship between mastery and social support was greater for nonsmokers (p=0.046).

Conclusion

Depression and negative affect are associated with smoking among overweight persons in a rural First Nation in British Columbia. Furthermore, smoking is inversely related to mastery, and this relation varies with social support. Longitudinal study is required to determine whether smoking influences mental health and mastery, or the reverse.

Résumé

Contexte

Le tabagisme est très répandu dans de nombreuses communautés autochtones du Canada; des taux de 50% ne sont pas rares, et les Autochtones du Canada souffrent beaucoup de maladies liées au tabagisme. Les recherches menées auprès d’autres populations ont établi un lien entre la dépression et le tabagisme. Par ailleurs, on ne sait pas si le tabagisme a une incidence sur la santé mentale ou émotionnelle des Autochtones du Canada. La compréhension des liens entre l’affect et le statut de fumeur est un important préalable à l’élaboration d’interventions visant la réduction du tabagisme.

Méthode

Une enquête au niveau communautaire sur les maladies chroniques d’une population rurale autochtone de la Colombie-Britannique a fourni des données sur le statut de fumeur/nonfumeur et sur des caractéristiques psychosociales incluant la dépression, la maîtrise de sa situation, l’équilibre émotif et le soutien social. Les participants de l’étude étaient des Indiens inscrits vivant dans une réserve (n=187), 67% étant des femmes, et l’âge moyen était de 44,1 ans (écart-type de 15,0).

Résultats

Le taux de tabagisme était de 48,1%. Compte tenu de l’âge, du sexe et de l’indice de masse corporelle, les fumeurs, comparativement aux non-fumeurs présentaient des taux plus élevés (p<0,010) de dépression (21,3 [19,1–23,4] c. 16,1 [14,1–18,0]) et d’affect négatif (18,6 [14,9–22,3] c. 11,0 [7,6–14,4]), et un taux moins élevé de maîtrise de sa situation (36,4 [35,5–37,3] c. 38,1 [37,2-38,9]). Une relation positive entre la maîtrise de sa situation et des niveaux supérieurs de soutien social prévalait chez les non-fumeurs (p=0,046).

Conclusion

Il existe une corrélation entre la dépression ou un affect négatif et le tabagisme chez les personnes faisant de l’embonpoint dans une population rurale autochtone de la Colombie- Britannique. De plus, le tabagisme est inversement proportionnel à la maîtrise de sa situation, et cette relation varie selon le degré de soutien social. Les efforts pour réduire le tabagisme dans la population autochtone du Canada devraient porter sur les aspects de la santé mentale, du soutien social et de la maîtrise de sa situation, en tenant compte des contextes socioculturel et historique plus larges d’où émergent les formes actuelles de style de vie.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Daniel
    • 1
  • Margaret D. Cargo
    • 2
  • Julie Lifshay
    • 3
  • Lawrence W. Green
    • 4
  1. 1.Département de médecine sociale et préventiveUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of Social and Transcultural PsychiatryMcGill UniversityQuébecCanada
  3. 3.School of Public HealthUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyCanada
  4. 4.Office of Science and Extramural Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control & PreventionAtlantaCanada

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