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Real-world unassisted quit success and related contextual factors: a population-based study of Chinese male smokers


Objectives To examine the association of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) and tobacco advertising with unassisted smoking cessation among Chinese male smokers.

Methods A questionnaire was administered to 6500 male adult smokers from six cities in China selected in a cross-sectional multistage sampling design. The survey collected self-reported demographic characteristics, smoking and cessation status, SHS exposure and tobacco advertising exposure, with 5782 valid questionnaires included in this study. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association of unassisted smoking cessation with exposure to SHS and tobacco advertising.

Results 42.1% of smokers who made unassisted quit attempts achieved abstinence (95% CI 32.5% to 51.7%). SHS (adjusted OR (aOR) 0.36; 95% CI 0.18 to 0.71; p=0.033) and tobacco advertising exposure (aOR 0.63; 95% CI 0.37 to 0.95; p=0.039) were negatively associated with unassisted smoking cessation.

Conclusion The vast majority of Chinese male smokers rely on unassisted methods to quit smoking. Success prevalence is high, which is very beneficial to health. This study suggests that exposure to secondhand smoking and tobacco advertising hinders the success of unassisted cessation. These findings speak to the need for environmental tobacco control measures to promote unassisted smoking cessation among Chinese adult male smokers.

  • cessation
  • environment
  • secondhand smoke
  • addiction

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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