Prospective predictors of quitting behaviours among adult smokers in six cities in China: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey

Addiction. 2011 Jul;106(7):1335-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03444.x. Epub 2011 May 27.


Aims: To examine predictors of quitting behaviours among adult smokers in China, in light of existing knowledge from previous research in four western countries and two southeast Asian countries.

Design: Face-to-face interviews were carried out with smokers in 2006 using the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey, with follow-up about 16 months later. A stratified multi-stage cluster sampling design was employed.

Setting: Beijing and five other cities in China.

Participants: A total of 4732 smokers were first surveyed in 2006. Of these, 3863 were re-contacted in 2007, with a retention rate of 81.6%.

Measurements: Baseline measures of socio-demographics, dependence and interest in quitting were used prospectively to predict both making quit attempts and staying quit among those who attempted.

Findings: Overall, 25.3% Chinese smokers reported having made at least one quit attempt between waves 1 and 2; of these, 21.7% were still stopped at wave 2. Independent predictors of making quit attempts included having higher quitting self-efficacy, previous quit attempts, more immediate intentions to quit, longer time to first cigarette upon waking, negative opinion of smoking and having smoking restrictions at home. Independent predictors of staying quit were being older, having longer previous abstinence from smoking and having more immediate quitting intentions.

Conclusions: Predictors of Chinese smokers' quitting behaviours are somewhat different to those found in previous research from other countries. Nicotine dependence and self-efficacy seem to be more important for attempts than for staying quit in China, and quitting intentions are related to both attempts and staying quit.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Efficacy
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / psychology
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult