Smokers Likely to Be Less Educated Than Nonsmokers, Studies Say
Blue-collar workers with little schooling are much more likely to smoke than wealthier Americans with better educations, federal health officials said Wednesday.
Surveys by the national Centers for Disease Control, the surgeon general’s office and other health agencies show that less educated persons have been the most reluctant to heed cigarette health warnings, officials said.
“If you look at the highest education and the highest professional levels, you tend to see substantially diminished rates of smoking,” said Dr. Kenneth Warner, of the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.
“Basically, the individuals with higher education are responding in larger numbers to the evidence that smoking is a health hazard,” he said.
A study by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control found a strong relationship between smoking and education.
The agency’s nationwide survey found that 49% of men and 42% of women with some high school education smoked. But only 17% of men and 13% of women with college degrees smoked.
“What’s amazing is that the data are clear for each level of education,” said Dr. Dennis Tolsma, director of the CDC’s health promotion and education branch.