We evaluated smoking differences across nativity and race/ethnicity among women diagnosed with breast cancer.


In our Northern Californian pooled population of 5,653 [670 Asian, 690 Hispanic, and 4,300 non-Hispanic White (White)] women diagnosed with breast cancer, we evaluated smoking differences across nativity, race/ethnicity, and acculturation and effect modification of nativity by race/ethnicity and education.


Foreign-born women currently smoked less than US-born women [odds ratio (OR) = 0.46, 95% confidence limit (CL): 0.29–0.72]. Hispanic (OR = 0.50; 95% CL: 0.32–0.78) women currently smoked less than White women. Among those who ever smoked (n = 2,557), foreign-born women smoked 5.23 fewer pack-years (PY) than US-born women (95% CL: −2.75 to −7.70). Furthermore, Asian (−4.60, 95% CL: −0.81 to −8.39) and Hispanic (−6.79, 95% CL: −4.14 to −9.43) women smoked fewer PY than White women. Associations were generally suggestive of greater smoking with greater acculturation (immigration age, US years, survey language). Finally, associations for nativity differed by education but not race/ethnicity, with a higher likelihood of smoking in US-born women only among those with less than a bachelor's degree (OR = 2.84, 95% CL: 2.15–3.77; current smoking: P = 0.01, PY: P = 0.05).


Asian and Hispanic (vs. White) and foreign-born (vs. US-born) breast cancer survivors reported fewer smoking behaviors. Smoking differences across nativity and education were driven by higher rates of smoking in US-born women with lower educational attainment.


Smoking behavioral patterns were similar among breast cancer survivors and the general population, informing potential smoking interventions.

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