Ethnic Discrimination and Smoking-Related Outcomes among Former and Current Arab Male Smokers in Israel: The Buffering Effects of Social Support

Abstract

We examined the relationship between two forms of ethnic discrimination—interpersonal and institutional—and smoking outcomes among Arab men in Israel, and whether social support buffered these associations. We used cross-sectional data of adult Arab men, current or former smokers (n = 954). Mixed-effects regression models estimated the association between discrimination and smoking status, and nicotine dependence among current smokers. Interpersonal discrimination was associated with higher likelihood of being a current smoker compared to a former smoker, whereas institutional group discrimination was not. Social support moderated the ethnic discrimination-nicotine dependence link. Among men with low social support, greater interpersonal discrimination was associated with greater nicotine dependence. Similarly, among smokers with high institutional group discrimination, those with high social support reported lower nicotine dependence compared to those with low social support. Ethnic discrimination should be considered in efforts to improve smoking outcomes among Arab male smokers in Israel.

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