The smoking behavior of adults can negatively impact children through exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and by modeling this unhealthy behavior. Little research has examined the role of the social environment in smoking behaviors of adults living with children. The present study specifically analyzed the relationship between social cohesion and smoking behaviors of adults living with children.
Data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, a random-digit dial cross-sectional survey of California Adults, were used. Adults living with children reported their levels of social cohesion and smoking behaviors (N = 13,978). Logistic regression models were used to predict odds of being a current smoker or living in a household in which smoking was allowed, from social cohesion.
Overall, 13% of the sample was current smokers and 3.74% lived in households in which smoking was allowed. Logistic regression models showed that each one-unit increase in social cohesion is associated with reduced odds of being a current smoker (AOR = 0.92; 95% CI = 0.85–0.99) and reduced odds of living in a household in which smoking is allowed (AOR = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.75–0.93), after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics.
Among adults living with children, higher social cohesion is associated with a lower likelihood of both being and smoker and living in a home where smoking is allowed. Thus, future research is needed to better understand mechanisms that explain the relationship between social cohesion and smoking-related behavior in order to prevent smoking-related health consequences and smoking initiation among children and adults.