Patterns of tobacco use and tobacco-related psychiatric morbidity and substance use among middle-aged and older adults in the United States.
OBJECTIVES: To examine prevalence of tobacco use and identify psychiatric symptoms and substance use correlates of tobacco use comparing adults 50-64 years of age with those 65+ years of age (N = 10,891). METHODS: Data were from the 2008-2009 US National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. RESULTS: Past-year tobacco use was one-half as frequent among adults aged 65+ years (14.1%) compared to adults aged 50-64 years (30.2%); the latter group surpassed the former in rates of cigarette smoking (24.8% vs. 10.6%), daily cigarette smoking (16.5% vs. 7.1%), cigar smoking (7.4% vs. 2.3%), and smokeless tobacco use (2.5% vs. 1.7%). Increased odds of cigarette smoking were noted among men, whites, African Americans, and those who had less education, had lower income, were not currently married, or were binge drinkers or illicit/non-medical drug users. In controlled analyses, odds ratio in those 65+ years of age who had smoked during the past year was 2.2 for binge drinking and 3.5 for illicit or non-medical drug use. Odds ratio of binge drinking among those 65+ years of age for cigar smokers during the past year was 3.1. Past-year cigarette smoking was not associated with reports of symptoms of depression or anxiety in the 65+ age group. CONCLUSIONS: Tobacco use is less prevalent among adults 65+ years of age yet continues to be strongly associated with binge drinking and illicit or non-medical drug use. Preventive efforts to decrease these substance use problems should include programs to decrease tobacco use.
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