Mobility impairment linked to higher smoking rate

New York: Those who use mobility aids are more likely to smoke and are less likely to kick the butt, says a study.

People with mobility impairments under age 65 have significantly higher rates of smoking than those without mobility impairments, the findings showed.

Additionally, smokers with mobility impairments were less likely to attempt quitting than those without mobility impairments, and evidence-based, quit-smoking treatments may not be sufficient for this population.

"Literature indicates that those who use mobility aids have higher rates of depression, and in the general population, this is associated with greater smoking rates and lower likelihood of quitting smoking," said Belinda Borrelli from The Miriam Hospital in the US.

The researchers conducted an analysis of 13,308 adults aged 21-85 years old with mobility impairments such as using special ambulatory equipment and having difficulty walking one-quarter mile without equipment.

Results showed among 21 to 44 year olds with mobility impairments, 39.2 percent were smokers, compared with only 21.5 percent of adults without mobility impairments.

Among 45 to 64 year olds with mobility impairments, 31.2 percent were smokers versus 20.7 percent without mobility impairments.

Men with mobility impairments had greater smoking prevalence than women with mobility impairments.

"The prevalence of smoking among people with disabilities was unknown prior to our paper," Borrelli added.

The study appeared online in the American Journal of Public Health.

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