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Quit smoking advice from health professionals in Taiwan: The role of funding policy and smokers¡¦ socioeconomic status
  1. Fong-ching Chang1,*,
  2. Teh-wei Hu2,
  3. Shu-ying Lo3,
  4. Po-tswen Yu3,
  5. Kun-yu Chao3,
  6. Mei-ling Hsiao3
  1. 1 National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan;
  2. 2 University of California, Berkeley, United States;
  3. 3 Bureau of Health Promotion, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to: , ; fongchingchang{at}ntnu.edu.tw

Abstract

Objectives: In 2002, Taiwan launched a program to encourage physicians to provide brief cessation counseling to their patients during routine outpatient visits. This study is to compare and analyze the annual prevalence rate of receiving advice to quit smoking from health professionals before (2004) and after (2005, 2006) the increase in funding and the withdrawal of additional funding (2007).

Methods: We analyzed pooled data from the 2004-2007 Taiwan Adult Tobacco Survey, an annual random-digit-dial telephone survey, to estimate the prevalence of receiving quit advice among ever smokers across these years. We also examined smoking characteristics and the socioeconomic factors of smokers associated with receipt of advice to quit smoking.

Results: The prevalence rate of receiving quit advice increased from 21.1% in 2004 to 28.2% in 2006, and then decreased slightly to 27.6% in 2007 after the funds were cut. Multivariate analyses results indicated that increasing financing for smoking cessation services in 2005, being male, older, a daily cigarette user, having previously attempted to quit, perceiving oneself as having poor health, and being aware of the benefits of smoking cessation services were significantly positively associated with receiving quit advice from health professionals. In contrast, smokers who were younger, female, and occasional cigarette users were less likely to receive quit advice. Also, smokers with socioeconomic disadvantages were not less likely to receive quit advice.

Conclusions: During the period of increased funding for smoking cessation services, the rates of receiving quit advice increased among all smokers and across different socioeconomic groups.

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