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Adult Mortality Differentials Associated with Cigarette Smoking in the USA


Hummer, Robert A.; Nam, Charles B.; & Rogers, Richard G. (1998). Adult Mortality Differentials Associated with Cigarette Smoking in the USA. Population Research and Policy Review, 17(3), 285-304.


Although cigarette smoking has been extensively researched, surprising little knowledge has been produced by demographers using demographic perspectives and techniques. Thus, this paper contributes to the literature by extending a demographic framework to an important behavior for mortality research: cigarette smoking. In earlier works, the authors used nationally-representative data to show that cause of death patterns varied by smoking status and that multiple causes of death characterized smokers moreso than non-smokers. The present work extends previous analysis by estimating smoking status mortality differentials by underlying and multiple causes of death and by age and sex. Data from the 1986 National Mortality Followback Survey are related to data from the 1985 and 1987 National Health Interview Survey supplements to assess the smoking-related mortality differentials. We find that cigarette smoking is associated with higher mortality for all population categories studied, that the smoking mortality differentials vary across the different smoking status categories and by demographic group, and that the mortality differentials vary according to whether underlying cause or multiple cause patterns of death are examined. Moreover, the multiple cause analysis highlights otherwise obscured smoking-mortality relations and points to the importance of respiratory diseases and cancers other than lung cancer for cigarette smoking research.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Population Research and Policy Review


Hummer, Robert A.
Nam, Charles B.
Rogers, Richard G.