Objective: The treatment of tobacco addiction in Brazil has expanded in recent years; however, we must increase knowledge about the characteristics of individuals who adhere to cessation programs in order to adjust treatments to specific characteristics of the target population that favor success. The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of smokers who present to Brazilian public health units seeking help to quit smoking based on the experience of a primary health care unit that covers a poor community in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Methods: Data were collected at a Teaching Health Center from January 03 2012 to January 03 2014.
Results: Mean patient age was 49.32 ± 11.82 years, and 71% were women. About half of the participants successfully quit smoking (n=125, 51%). Higher levels of nicotine dependence were associated with lower levels of smoking cessation. There was a notable decrease in the probability of remaining smoking throughout the first month of treatment. After 3 weeks of treatment, only 19% had not quit smoking. The probability of quitting smoking decreases by 2% for every additional year of age.
Conclusion: There is a need to revise and expand current strategies to make them more effective in preventing smoking since childhood.