Educational Differences in Smoking in Turkey: Evidence for the Tobacco Epidemic Transition Model?

İsmet Koç, Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies
Samantha Friedman, University at Albany, SUNY
Aysenur Kurtulus, University at Albany, SUNY

In lower- and middle-income countries, a positive association between education and smoking has been found, contradicting the negative relationship found in most research. To clarify these findings, studies have viewed the prevalence of smoking as changing in stages like that of other disease epidemic transitions, and gender is important in this transition. Turkey has high smoking rates, but the studies that exist point to no impact of education on smoking. Our paper examines whether this null finding is a result of two countervailing forces in the tobacco epidemic transition. Using 2011 data from the Research on Family Structure, a nationally representative sample the Turkish population, we find evidence that men and women are in different stages of the tobacco epidemic transition. For men, education is negatively related to smoking prevalence, but for women, it’s just the opposite, suggesting that they have not fully progressed through the tobacco epidemic transition.

Presented in Session 1170: Health, Wellbeing, and Morbidity