Open Access Research article

Nicotine Dependence among Rural-Urban Migrants in China

Junqing Wu1, Tingzhong Yang2*, Ian RH Rockett3, Rui Xing4, Sejla Karalic2, Yuyan Li1 and Yufeng Zhang1

Author Affiliations

1 Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research, WHO Collaborating Center on Human Research on Reproductive Health, Shanghai, 200032, China

2 Center for Tobacco Control Research, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China

3 Injury Control Research Center and Department of Community Medicine, PO Box 9190, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-9190, USA

4 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Xinjiang Medical University, Wulumuji, 830054, China

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:296  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-296

Published: 10 May 2011



The complex mechanism of nicotine dependency makes it challenging to evaluate dependence or progress towards dependence. The aim of this study was to estimate nicotine dependence levels and identify determinants of dependence among Chinese rural-urban migrants.


Multi-stage systematic sampling was used to select 4,198 rural-urban migrants aged 18 years or older from three metropolises in China. A structured questionnaire was administered during face-to-face interviews. Nicotine dependence among participants was assessed by means of the six-item Mandarin Chinese Version of the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (CFTND). Determinants of dependence were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA).


Among 4,198 participants, estimated current, daily, and occasional smoking rates were 28.3%, 21.2%, and 7.1%, respectively. The CTFND score for the 894 daily smokers was 3.39(SD: 2.32). MANOVA showed that work type, age at first migration, length of migration, and number of cities ever lived were associated with nicotine dependence.


A migratory lifestyle is associated with nicotine dependence. Results could inform the design of tobacco control programs that target Chinese rural-urban migrant workers as a special at-risk population.