The Smoking Behaviors and Cancer-Related Disparities Among Urban Middle Aged and Older Men Involved in the Criminal Justice System

Pamela Valera, Matthew Anderson, Stephanie H. Cook, Judith Wylie-Rosett, Justin Rucker, Andrea E. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined cancer knowledge, mental health, and tobacco use in formerly incarcerated men. The Cancer-Health Research Study with Formerly Incarcerated Men in New York City used a cross-sectional research design to examine cancer knowledge and prevention (CKP) outcomes among 259 justice-involved males, ages 35–67. CKP was assessed using items from the National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey. Psychological symptoms were examined using the Brief Symptom Inventory. Of the 259 men who completed the survey, 76 % of the respondents self-reported as current smokers. Current smokers smoked between 1 and 40 cigarettes per day. The mean number of cigarettes smoked per day was 10.37 (SD = 6.76). Sixty-five percent (n = 165) of the respondents underwent cancer-screening tests. CKP scores ranged from 2 to 28; the mean was 15.05 (SD = 5.49), indicating that the men scored very low in terms of CKP. CKP scores were negatively associated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, τ = −.13, p =.01. These results have important implications for enhancing access to cancer-health education programs in justice-involved settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Cancer
  • Re-entry
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this