Tobacco use in cardiac patients: Perceptions, use, and changes after a recent myocardial infarction among US adults in the PATH study (2013–2015)

Diann E. Gaalema, Irene Pericot-Valverde, Janice Y. Bunn, Andrea C. Villanti, Antonio Cepeda-Benito, Nathan J. Doogan, Diana R. Keith, Allison N. Kurti, Alexa A. Lopez, Tyler Nighbor, Maria A. Parker, Amanda J. Quisenberry, Ryan Redner, Megan E. Roberts, Cassandra A. Stanton, Philip A. Ades, Stephen T. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Smoking status following cardiac events strongly predicts future morbidity and mortality. Using a nationally representative sample of United States adults, aims of this study were (1) to estimate use of, and attitudes towards, tobacco products as a function of level of cardiac risk, and (2) to explore changes in attitudes and tobacco use among adults experiencing a recent myocardial infarction (MI). Data were obtained from the first and second waves of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study. Use and attitudes towards tobacco products were examined at Wave 1 among adults with no chronic health condition (n = 18,026), those with risk factors for heart disease (n = 4593), and those who reported ever having had an MI (n = 643). Changes in perceived risk of tobacco and use between the two waves and having an MI in the last 12 months (n = 240) were also examined. Those who reported lifetime MI were more likely to believe that smoking/using tobacco was causing/worsening a health problem. Having had a recent MI event increased perceived tobacco-related risk and attempts at reduction/quitting, but did not significantly impact combusted tobacco cessation/reduction or uptake of non-combusted tobacco products. Sociodemographic characteristics and use of other tobacco products were associated with change in use of tobacco products. Those who have an MI are sensitized to the harm of continued smoking. Nonetheless, having an MI does not predict quitting combusted tobacco use or switching to potentially reduced harm products. Intense intervention is necessary to reduce combusted use in this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Harm reduction
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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