The contribution of parental smoking history and socio-demographic factors to the smoking behavior of Israeli women

Dorit Segal-Engelchin, Enav Friedmann, Julie G. Cwikel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study examined the interplay between sociodemographic factors and parental smoking history in shaping the smoking behavior of Israeli women (N = 302). The study was conducted in the Negev region, which is characterized by a high proportion of immigrants and high percentage of low socioeconomic and educational groups. The specific objectives of this study were to examine: (1) The prevalence and characteristics of women smokers, ex-smokers and never-smokers; and (2) the contribution of education and parent smoking history to womens current smoking. Low levels of education, being Israeli born or veteran immigrants of European-American origin significantly increased the risk of smoking, whereas an orthodox lifestyle and new immigrant status significantly reduced the likelihood of smoking. Occasional smokers reported significantly higher primary care utilization than never smokers. A significant relationship between smoking and pain, gynecological symptoms and depression was found. Results indicate that childhood exposure to maternal smoking was a significant risk factor for smoking, whereas paternal past smoking negatively affects smoking in women. Also, results show that parental educational level affects womens smoking behavior indirectly by influencing their own educational attainment, which in turn is negatively associated with the likelihood of smoking. Mothers with higher education were more likely to smoke, an effect that was reversed for their daughters. Our results demonstrate how demographic, parental and lifestyle factors affect womens smoking in a multi-ethnic society and highlight the need to examine both generational and intergenerational effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Taylor & Francis.


  • Health status
  • Parental smoking history
  • Socio-demographic factors
  • Women's smoking behavior


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