Objective: To investigate motives, strategies and experiences to quit smoking and reasons to relapse as a function of socioeconomic status.
Methods: A population-based study, Inter99, Denmark. Two thousand six hundred twenty-one daily smokers with a previous quit attempt completed questionnaires at baseline. Cross-sectional baseline-data (1999-2001) were analysed in adjusted regression analyses.
Results: Consistent findings across the three indicators of socioeconomic status (employment, school education, higher education/vocational training): smokers with low socioeconomic status were significantly more likely than smokers with high socioeconomic status to report that they wanted to quit because smoking was too expensive (OR: 1.85 (1.4-2.4), for school education) or because they had health related problems (OR: 1.75 (1.4-2.2)). When looking at previous quit attempts, smokers with low socioeconomic status were significantly more likely to report that it had been a bad experience (OR: 1.41 (1.1-1.8)) and that they had relapsed because they were more nervous/restless/depressed (OR: 1.43 (1.1-1.8)).
Conclusions: This study shows that smokers with low socioeconomic status have other motives to quit and other reasons to relapse than smokers with high socioeconomic status. Future tobacco prevention efforts aimed at smokers with low socioeconomic status should maybe focus on current advantages of quitting smoking, using high cost of smoking and health advantages of quitting as motivating factors and by including components of mental health as relapse prevention.
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