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Psychosocial, behavioural, and health determinants of successful smoking cessation: a longitudinal study of Danish adults
  1. Merete Oslera,
  2. Eva Prescottb
  1. aDepartment of Social Medicine and Psychosocial Health, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, bInstitute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen Hospital Corporation, Copenhagen Municipal Hospital
  1. Dr M Osler, Department of Social Medicine and Psychosocial Health, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3, 2200 N, Copenhagen, DenmarkM.Osler{at}


OBJECTIVE To examine the factors that determine whether or not smokers become long-term quitters, and to study whether determinants of successful cessation differ with levels of motivation to stop.

DESIGN In a cohort of men and women, aged 30–60 years at first examination in 1982/1984, smoking behaviour was evaluated from questionnaires at baseline and at follow up 10 years later.

SETTING County of Copenhagen, Denmark

PARTICIPANTS 2554 subjects from the original sample of 4581 were successfully followed. This study deals with the 1365 subjects who were smokers at the first examination.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE Smoking status (abstinent for one year or more) at follow up.

RESULTS At follow up 15% of the baseline smokers had been abstinent for one year or more. In multivariate analysis, successful smoking cessation was associated with older age, high social status, low prior tobacco consumption, baseline motivation to stop smoking, and having a non-smoking spouse/cohabitant. The same result was obtained when the analyses were repeated separately for smokers with and without motivation to stop.

CONCLUSIONS Smokers motivated to stop are more likely to quit and remain abstinent than smokers with no such motivation. Age, social status, spouse/cohabitant’s smoking behaviour, and the daily consumption of tobacco predict success in smoking cessation, irrespective of smokers’ former motivation to stop.

  • smoking cessation predictors
  • Denmark

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