Brazilian Journal of Pulmonology

ISSN (on-line): 1806-3756 | ISSN (printed): 1806-3713


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Smoking among female sex workers: prevalence and associated variables

Tabagismo em mulheres profissionais do sexo: prevalência e variáveis associadas

Ligia Lopes Devóglio1, José Eduardo Corrente2, Maria Helena Borgato3, Ilda de Godoy3

J Bras Pneumol.2017;43(1):6-13

Abstract PDF PT PDF EN Portuguese Text

Objective: To assess the prevalence of smoking and associated variables in female sex workers (FSWs). Methods: This was a quantitative cross-sectional study involving FSWs in the city of Botucatu, Brazil, who completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, including data regarding smoking status, motivational stage of change, and degree of nicotine dependence, as well as the Perceived Stress Scale and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Results: We included 83 FSWs. The mean age was 26.8 years. Among the participants, 58 (69.8%) had at least a high school education, only 26 (31.3%) resided in the city of Botucatu, 59 (71.1%) were smokers, 5 (6.0%) were former smokers, 74 (89.2%) regularly consumed alcohol, and 43 (51.8%) used illicit drugs. The majority of the women were classified as having an intermediate stress level, and 51 (61.4%) were classified as having possible or probable anxiety, whereas depression was found to be improbable in 57 (68.7%). The level of nicotine dependence was high among the smokers, the majority of whom showed no intention to quit smoking. Smoking was associated with illicit drug use (p = 0.0271) and with alcohol consumption (p = 0.0001), although not with the levels of stress, anxiety, or depression; nor was the age at smoking initiation associated with the length of time as an FSW (p = 0.4651). Conclusions: The prevalence of smoking among the FSWs evaluated here was much higher than the 8.3% reported for the overall female population of Brazil. Our findings show that FSWs are exposed to various risk factors inherent to their profession. Therefore, harm reduction is an important strategy to be adopted.


Keywords: Women, Smoking, Sex workers; Prevalence; Risk factors.




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