MONDAY, March 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — In underserved communities, the prevalence of smoking is 28.1 percent, and many current smokers have depression and generalized anxiety, according to a study published online March 7 in Cancer.

Sue C. Lin, Ph.D., from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues examined the prevalence of smoking among adults from underserved communities through an analysis of the 2014 Health Center Patient Survey. The associations of smoking with co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorders (SUDs) were assessed among 1,735 adult smokers.

The researchers found that among health center patients, the prevalence of smoking was 28.1 percent. Among current smokers, 59.1 and 45.4 percent had depression and generalized anxiety, respectively. The odds of reporting SUDs were increased more than twofold for non-Hispanic Black smokers (adjusted odds ratio, 2.13). Individuals at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level and those who were unemployed had more than twofold and more than threefold odds for mental health conditions and SUDs, respectively (adjusted odds ratios, 2.55 and 3.21, respectively).

“Our study underscores the importance of understanding the association and increased risk of mental health conditions and substance use disorders among adults from underserved communities who smoke while also addressing socioeconomic risk factors to achieve better health outcomes,” Lin said in a statement. “The study further highlights the significance of tailored smoking cessation treatments for individuals from underserved communities that will support cancer prevention care.”

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