Readiness to change smoking behavior in a community health center population

J Community Health. 1997 Feb;22(1):15-31. doi: 10.1023/a:1025142706754.


This study examines predictors of readiness to change smoking behavior in a sample of smokers who receive care at a community health center that serves a predominantly low income African American population. Prior to initiating interventions we conducted a telephone survey with a random sample of 1318 adult users who had visited the center in the last 18 months; 379 (28.8%) were current smokers (40.3% of males, 23.9% of females, 42.7% of Whites, and 25.3%, of African Americans). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed nine factors significantly associated with readiness to change smoking behavior: male gender; a previous quit attempt; a perception of risk of lung cancer from smoking; greater desire to quit smoking; a perception that smoking bothers others; doctor advice to stop smoking at last health visit; records kept for scheduling doctor appointments; thinking that losing a pleasure would not be a problem if quit smoking; and poorer self-reported health status. These findings provide direction for developing interventions for similar low income, high risk populations. The results indicate that it may be useful to heighten awareness of the risks of smoking and to assure that smokers receive clear quit smoking messages from their providers. Women need special attention since they are less ready to quit than men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Community Health Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Patient Education as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking Cessation / ethnology
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data