Author(s): Drum ML, ShiovitzEzra S, Gaumer E, Lindau ST
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) assessed smoking behaviors and alcohol use as factors directly related to physical health, well-being, and social relationships. We describe self-report measures of tobacco and alcohol use, as well as an established biological marker of tobacco exposure, cotinine, collected in Wave 1 of NSHAP. METHODS: We compare smoking behaviors and alcohol use by gender and age group. We report on derived measures of alcohol consumption and tobacco exposure widely used in medical and substance use literature, compare current and past users, and describe associations between self-reported smoking status and cotinine. RESULTS: Men are more likely than women to report alcohol use, potential problem drinking, and ever smoking. Alcohol use and smoking are lower among older age groups. Although current smoking is less prevalent than in the general U.S. adult population, 50\% of current and 29\% of past smokers have lifetime exposure of 40 pack-years or more. Cotinine is directly related to number of cigarettes per day but with considerable unexplained variation. Cotinine levels contradict self-report in fewer than 4\% of nonsmokers. CONCLUSION: NSHAP provides data useful for investigation of smoking and alcohol use and their association with health and social factors.
This article was published in J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy