Quitting-related beliefs, intentions, and motivations of older smokers in four countries: findings from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Survey

Addict Behav. 2005 May;30(4):777-88. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2004.08.023.


Older smokers represent an important subgroup that has been shown to benefit considerably from quitting smoking. However, to date little is known about relevant beliefs, intentions, and motivations. This study examined factors associated with older smokers' (aged 60 years and above) intention to quit smoking using data gathered via the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Survey (ITCPES), a random digit dialed telephone survey of over 9000 adult smokers from United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia. Having smoked for a long time and having survived, it was hypothesized that older smokers would perceive themselves as being less vulnerable to the harm of smoking (self-exempting beliefs); be less concerned about the health effects of smoking; be less confident about being able to quit successfully (self-efficacy); not perceive any health benefit of quitting, and hence be less willing to want to quit. Controlling for possible confounders, the hypotheses were all confirmed. Further analysis into reported considerations for quitting revealed that price of cigarettes, health professional advice, cheap quitting medication, and information on health risks were important predictors of quitting intention, with cigarette price and cheap medication also associated with recent quit attempts. Together, these findings have important implications for developing strategies for encouraging older smokers to give up smoking.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Self Concept
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • United Kingdom
  • United States