Aim: To examine the percentage of Japanese adult smokers who make quit attempts and succeed in smoking cessation over a 1-year period, and to identify predictors of attempts to stop and successful smoking cessation.
Design and setting: This study used Ipsos JSR Company's access panel, whose sampling framework is based on the Basic Resident Register in Japan. We tracked and monitored a selected sample of smokers who were at least 20 years of age through a baseline postal questionnaire survey in 2005 and a follow-up survey 1 year later.
Participants: The original response rate was 72.1% (1874 of 2600 smokers). There were 1627 current smokers in the baseline survey, and of those, 1358 were followed-up 1 year later.
Findings: Among the current smokers, 23.0% reported that they had attempted to quit smoking at least once in the past year. Of those who made quit attempts, 25.6% had achieved 1-week abstinence successfully and 13.5% reported having achieved sustained 6-month abstinence successfully at the time of the follow-up survey. The predictors associated with quit attempts were non-daily smoker, higher motivation to quit and previous attempts to stop smoking. Among smokers who made quit attempts, only 13.5% used nicotine replacement therapy. Higher nicotine dependence was associated with lower probability of success in quitting.
Conclusions: Japanese smokers attempt to quit at a lower rate than smokers in the United Kingdom and United States, but factors that predict attempts (primarily markers of motivation) and success of attempts (primarily dependence) are similar to those found in western samples.