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Long term and transitional intermittent smokers: a longitudinal study


Objective: To investigate differences in snuff consumption, sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics between baseline intermittent smokers that had become daily smokers, stopped smoking or remained intermittent smokers at the one year follow up.

Design/setting/participants/measurements: A population of 12 507 individuals interviewed at baseline in 1992-94 and at a one year follow up, aged 45–69 years, was investigated in a longitudinal study. The three groups of baseline intermittent smokers were compared to the reference population (all others) according to sociodemographic, psychosocial, and snuff consumption characteristics. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to assess differences in psychosocial conditions, adjusting for age, sex, country of origin, marital status, education, and snuff consumption.

Results: 60% of all baseline intermittent smokers had remained intermittent smokers, 16% had become daily smokers, and 24% had stopped smoking at the one year follow up. The long term intermittent smokers and those who had stopped smoking were young, unmarried, highly educated, and snuff consumers to a higher extent than the reference population. They also had more psychosocial resources than the reference population, while the psychosocial resources of those who had become daily smokers were poorer.

Conclusions: The majority of intermittent smokers are long term intermittent smokers. The results suggest that long term intermittent smokers have other psychosocial characteristics than daily smokers.

  • intermittent smoking
  • daily smoking
  • longitudinal study
  • psychosocial
  • social participation
  • CI, confidence intervals, MDCS, Malmö diet and cancer study
  • MSNS, Malmö shoulder-neck study
  • OR, odds ratio

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