Tobacco use among the elderly: The first Brazilian National Survey (BNAS)

C. S. Madruga, C. P. Ferri, I. Pinsky, S. L. Blay, R. Caetano, R. Laranjeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: This study describes the prevalence and pattern of tobacco use among the elderly in Brazil and establishes its association with socio-demographic characteristics, other substance use and depression. Method: The analyses were performed in 400 individuals aged 60 years and over who participated in the first Brazilian national alcohol survey (BNAS) in 2000. Results: Nearly 60% of the sample had ever smoked, of them one in three were still smoking at the time of the interview. Most (94.3%) of the tobacco users were smoking everyday and 34.3% consuming more than 20 cigarettes a day. Only 1% of the former smokers had received support to quit. Over half of the current users (65%) would use free treatment to quit if it existed in Brazil, and just under half of them (47.4%) would consider quitting if cigarettes' price were higher. Currently, tobacco users were more likely to be men and alcohol abusers. Prevalence of depression was high regardless participant smoking status (33.0% among non-smokers, 34.7% among current smokers and 39.3% among former smokers). There was no significant association between smoking and depression. Conclusion: This study found a disturbingly high proportion of tobacco users among the elderly in Brazil. According to the Global Burden of Disease project, tobacco has the highest mortality risk of all substance use categories, especially for the elderly. This study shows there is an urgent need to develop smoking cessation interventions targeted specifically to the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-724
Number of pages5
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


  • Brazil
  • aged
  • cigarettes
  • epidemiology
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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