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Keywords:

  • cigarette smoking;
  • health assimilation;
  • peer influence;
  • cigarette taxes;
  • private workplace smoking restrictions

ABSTRACT

Smoking rates in the country of origin were used to empirically examine whether immigrants converge toward natives' level of smoking prevalence with assimilation. Results show that assimilation is associated with a lower likelihood of ever quitting smoking for immigrants from countries with lower smoking rates relative to the USA and a higher likelihood for immigrants from countries with higher smoking rates, but for current or ever smoking, the estimated effects of assimilation are statistically insignificant. Although these findings demonstrate that health assimilation depends on the country of origin, the extent to which this pattern of assimilation is due to peer influence, differences in responsiveness to anti-smoking interventions such as taxes or smoke-free air restrictions, and/or other factors remains unclear because of the limitations of this study. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.