The purpose of this study was to examine the correlates of current smoking among off-reserve First Nations and Métis adults, two Aboriginal Canadian groups that are at higher risk to smoke and more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions relative to their non-Aboriginal counterparts. A particular focus was on culturally specific factors and their associations with current smoking.
We used data from Statistics Canada's, 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey to investigate the correlates of smoking among 12,720 First Nations and Métis adults. Sequential binary logistic regression models were estimated to examine associations between smoking and culturally specific, demographic, geographic, socioeconomic and health-related variables.
Overall, 39.4% were current smokers. Multivariate results found that those who had hunted, fished or trapped within the last year were more likely to be smokers. In addition, respondents who were exposed to an Aboriginal language at home or outside the home were more likely to be smokers. Current smoking was significantly associated with being aged 35 to 49 years, living in a small population center, low income, low education, unemployment, being unmarried, low ratings of self-perceived health, heavy drinking and low body mass index. Respondents aged 65 years and older and those living in British Columbia were less likely to smoke.
The results of this study suggest that it may be useful to consider cultural characteristics, particularly language in efforts to reduce the prevalence of manufactured tobacco use among First Nations and Métis adults. Interventions should also consider demographic, geographic and socioeconomic variables, in addition to co-occurring health-risk behaviors.