Intention to quit smoking, attempts to quit, and successful quitting among Hong Kong Chinese smokers: population prevalence and predictors

Am J Health Promot. May-Jun 2005;19(5):346-54. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-19.5.346.


Purpose: To assess the prevalence of each step in the smoking-cessation process (intention to quit, attempts to quit, and successful quitting) and to examine the factors associated with them among Chinese smokers.

Design: A cross-sectional survey of subjects from randomly selected households.

Setting: Four thousand one hundred forty-two households in Hong Kong.

Subjects: A total of 11,779 persons, aged 15 years or older, were enumerated (response rate = 74.0%).

Measures: A validated structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire sought information on the subject's sociodemographic background, smoking habits, and workplace attitude to smoking. The predictors for successful quitting, past quitting attempts, and intention to quit were assessed by chi2 tests and multiple logistic regression.

Results: Of the respondents, 14.4% were current smokers, 7.5% were ex-smokers, and 78.1% were nonsmokers. Of the daily smokers, 52% intended to quit. The factors associated with quitting were being married, being in the student/retired/others category, being older, having received higher education, not smoking to kill time, and smoking because of curiosity. Being married and not smoking to kill time were associated with past quitting attempts. Being male, married, and not smoking to kill time were associated with the intention to quit smoking.

Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that differing predictors may contribute to the different transitional stages of smoking cessation. Population-based smoking-cessation programs should take these predictors into consideration in the design of interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires