Socioeconomic disparity in provider-delivered assistance to quit smoking

Nicotine Tob Res. 2008 Jan;10(1):55-61. doi: 10.1080/14622200701704905.


The U.S. Public Health Service smoking cessation clinical practice guideline is the accepted gold standard for smoking cessation treatment. It offers evidence-based treatment recommendations for all clinicians to deliver to all patients at each visit. Despite the release of the guideline and the publication of Healthy People 2010, health care providers still may not appropriately counsel patients to quit smoking. Furthermore, disparities may exist among smokers who are assisted to quit smoking by their health care providers. The present study tested for an association between selected sociodemographic and tobacco-related factors and assistance to quit smoking. This 2001 National Health Interview Survey secondary analysis included a U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population. Participants were self-reported current smokers who visited a health care provider in the past 12 months and were at least 25 years old. The outcome measure was smokers' self-report of whether assistance to quit smoking was given by a health care provider. Of smokers who received advice (N = 3,046), only 38% received assistance to quit smoking. Smokers were less likely to report assistance to quit smoking if they were younger or Black, or if they had a high or middle level of socioeconomic disadvantage. In the final logistic regression model, being married, attempting to quit in the past 12 months, and consuming more tobacco were associated with receiving assistance to quit smoking. Increased age also was associated with receiving assistance, as was greater socioeconomic advantage (higher education, higher income, health insurance). The mechanisms responsible for the disparities in delivery of tobacco dependence treatment must be investigated further.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Counseling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Education as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology