: This study investigated the association between current and past cigarette smoking, with four domains of well-being, namely, physical quality of life, mental quality of life, depressive symptoms, and self-rated health status (SRH), among older African American adults who lived in economically impoverished areas of South Los Angles. Methods
: This community-based cross-sectional study included a convenience sample of economically-disadvantaged African Americans adults (n = 740) who were 55 years old and older residing in South Los Angeles. We conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews to collect data on the socioeconomic status (level of education and fiscal pressures), demographic factors (age and gender), physical health (number of chronic medical conditions), smoking (never smokers (reference group), past smokers, and current smokers), and well-being (quality of life, depressive symptoms, and self-rated health). Linear regressions were used to analyze the data. Results
: Over 21% reported that they are current smokers, compared with 31% who identified as former smokers. Almost 40% perceived the quality of their health status to be fair or poor. Compared with non-smokers, current cigarette smokers reported a worse physical quality of life, depressive symptoms, and self-rated health. Current smokers also reported a marginally worse mental quality of life. Past smoker status was inconsistently associated with worse well-being in some, but not all, indicators. The association between smoking status and worse well-being was independent of gender, socioeconomic status, and physical health status. Conclusion
: Current smoking is associated with worse well-being of older African American adults in economically constrained urban settings. As the same pattern could not be found for former smokers, quitting smoking may be a strategy for economically-disadvantaged African American individuals to enhance their well-being. This provides additional support for programs that help African American individuals who are smokers to quit smoking, particularly in economically-disadvantaged urban areas.
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