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What employers need to know for their employees to successfully quit smoking


If you're designing wellbeing interventions for smokers who wish to quit, keep in mind that those who've tried quitting before, or those who are smoking no more than 20 a day, have a higher chance of successfully kicking the habit for good.

A new Malaysia-based study has identified these as the predictors of those are able to successfully quit smoking, based on result at a smoking cessation clinic at a public hospital in northeastern Malaysia.

The researchers are Nur Izzati Mohammad, and Mohd Nazri Shafei, Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia; Selasawati Ghazali, Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab, and the study was published in Ingenta.

The ins and outs of the study

The cross-sectional study involved smokers aged more than 18 years old and registered with the clinic from January 1, 2012, to October 31, 2014. Data were obtained with a designed questionnaire that consisted of sociodemographic information, medical history, and more.

Smokers who quit smoking six months after being registered at the quit smoking clinic were considered as successful quitters. Multiple logistic regression was applied to determine the predictive factors for successfully quitting smoking.

From a total of 202 respondents, 42.6% of them successfully quit smoking. Multiple logistic regression showed that the number of cigarettes smoked per day (20 or fewer) and a previous quit attempt were significant predictors for successfully quitting smoking.

Breaking down the data

  • In fact, smokers who smoked 20 cigarettes or fewer per day had a 2.5 times higher chance of quitting smoking than those who smoked more than 20 per day. The rationale? Smoking fewer cigarettes per day indicates that the smoker is minimally dependent on nicotine, and hence it is easier to quit smoking.
  • Additionally, those who had previously attempted to quit smoking were almost twice as likely to successfully quit smoking than those who had never attempted to quit smoking before. This finding is supported by the findings of many studies conducted in other countries.
  • The study found that age was not a predictor for successfully quitting smoking among the population studied.
  • It was shown that support from a spouse plays a significant role in predicting successful quitting of smoking. For example, studies in South Korea found that married smokers were more likely to quit smoking than unmarried smokers. However, the present study found no relationship between marital status and successfully quitting smoking.

Photo / StockUnlimited

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