Introduction: Economic disparities in rates of smoking have been well documented in many countries. These disparities exist on an individual and geographic or neighborhood level. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between neighborhood physical and social disorder and barriers to smoking cessation among an impoverished urban sample.
Methods: A sample of current smokers were recruited through street outreach, posted advertisements, and word of mouth from impoverished neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland, USA for a study of psychosocial factors and smoking behaviors. Neighborhood disorder was assessed with a 10-item scale from the Block Environmental Inventory and barriers to cessation with a 9-item scale.
Results: In the multiple logistic regression model, perceived stress (aOR= 1.60, 95% CI=1.32-1.95), neighborhood disorder (aOR= 1.34, 95% CI=1.11-1.63), and level of nicotine dependence (aOR= 1.97), 95% CI 1.62-2.40) were all strongly associated with barriers to cessation.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that neighborhood disorder may lead to barriers to cessation among low-income populations. The findings also indicate that tobacco control interventions should examine and address social ad physical aspects of impoverished neighborhoods.