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Impact of tobacco control policy on quitting and nicotine dependence among women in five European countries
  1. Jane A Allen1,
  2. Ellen R Gritz2,
  3. Haijun Xiao3,
  4. Rebecca Rubenstein4,
  5. Eva Kralikova5,6,
  6. Margaretha Haglund7,
  7. Julia Heck8,
  8. Raymond Niaura9,
  9. Donna M Vallone3,
  10. the WELAS Team*
  1. 1Public Health Policy Research, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Department of Behavioral Science- Unit 1330, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA
  3. 3Research and Evaluation, Legacy, Washington, DC, USA
  4. 4American Legacy Foundation, Research and Evaluation, Washington, DC, USA
  5. 5Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
  6. 6Tobacco Dependence Treatment Centre of the 3rd Medical Department, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
  7. 7Tobacco Control, Thinktank Tobaksfakta, Stockholm, Sweden
  8. 8Department of Epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  9. 9The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies, Legacy, Washington, DC, USA
  1. Correspondence to Jane A Allen, Public Health Policy Research, RTI International, 3040 East Cornwallis Road, PO Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194, USA; janeallen{at}


Objective To describe differences in and factors associated with former smoking and nicotine dependence among women in Ireland, Sweden, France, Italy and the Czech Republic.

Methods A cross-sectional, random digit dial telephone survey of 5000 women, aged 18 years and older, conducted in 2008. Analyses were conducted using logistic regression models.

Results Respondents from Ireland and Sweden had statistically significantly higher odds of having quit smoking within the 5 years before survey administration compared with respondents from the Czech Republic. Current smokers from Ireland, Sweden, France and Italy are more nicotine dependent than those from the Czech Republic.

Conclusions Respondents from countries with stronger tobacco control policies were more likely to have quit smoking compared with those living in the Czech Republic. However, respondents in countries with some of the strongest policies (Ireland, Sweden, France and Italy) had higher odds of smoking within 30 min of waking, an established indicator of nicotine dependence. More research in this area is warranted, but this study suggests that now that the Czech Republic is beginning to implement strong tobacco control policy, they will probably achieve a rapid decline in population-level smoking. Ireland, Sweden, France, Italy and other countries with established, strong tobacco control policies would do well to consider what additional programmes they can put in place to help their highly nicotine-dependent population of smokers successfully quit.

  • Public policy
  • Cessation
  • Addiction

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