Higher Smoking Rates Tied to Dangerous Neighborhoods 

Higher Smoking Rates Tied to Dangerous Neighborhoods. Credit | iStock
Higher Smoking Rates Tied to Dangerous Neighborhoods. Credit | iStock

United States: Living in dangerous neighborhoods might lead to more people smoking, according to new research. This particular study found that when people feel unsafe in their communities, it can really make them feel powerless and mistrusting, which might possess them to unhealthy habits like smoking. 

Michael Zvolensky, who is a professor of psychology  at the University of Houston, said  that this feeling of powerlessness of helplessness can make people to use smoking as a way to cope up  with their stress and fear.  

However, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that where people reside can affect their health and well-being and most importantly their mental setup and feeling unsafe in your neighborhood could have serious health effects. 

Higher Smoking Rates Tied to Dangerous Neighborhoods. Credit | Canva
Higher Smoking Rates Tied to Dangerous Neighborhoods. Credit | Canva

How Unsafe Neighborhoods Affect Smoking Habits 

While such factors are now understood as important factors in the onset and the, maintenance, and relapse of the substance use behavior little research has evaluated what the researchers called “neighborhood vigilance” in the terms of smoking rates the researchers noted. 

Zvolensky’s team concluded that the role of neighborhood vigilance in terms of smoking and the severity of the problems smokers thought they might face if they tried to quit. 

Study Shows Negative Beliefs About Quitting Smoking 

Living in less secure neighborhoods was tied to smokers thinking it would be tough to quit, expecting “negative mood and harmful consequences,” Zvolensky said in a university news release. 

These types of neighborhoods were “also associated with more severe problems when trying to quit smoking,” he added. 

These particular findings support the idea that dangerous neighborhoods exacerbate certain negative beliefs about abstinence and face some challenges in quitting, said Zvolensky. 

Research Highlights the Need for Socially-Focused Cessation Efforts 

There were total 93 adult smokers who were seeking cessation treatment and of the group its nearly 64.5 percent  identified as Black Americans, and almost 30 percent identified as white, whereas 3.2 percent identified as other  and 2.2 identified as Asian. The group answered the questions about their own socio-demographic characteristics and their neighborhoods. 

These particular findings were reported recently in the journal Substance Use and Misuse and Zvolensky said the findings point to the need for smoking cessation efforts that focus on the social factors like neighborhood vigilance.