Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Reasons for Quitting Smoking Vary with Age

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Reasons for Quitting Smoking Vary with Age

Article excerpt

CHICAGO -- Older smokers are motivated to quit smoking by very different factors than are younger smokers, and tailoring cessation services to recognize these unique differences can improve quit rates, Virginia Reichert, N.P., said at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Ms. Reichert and colleagues at the Center for Tobacco Control, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Great Neck, N.Y., reported the findings of a comparison study of 2,052 smokers; 143 were aged older than 65 years and 1,909 were aged 65 years or younger.

The older smokers were significantly more likely than were the younger ones to report quitting smoking because of physician pressure (32% vs. 19%) and a recent change in health status (27% vs. 19%). Younger smokers attributed their reasons for quitting to general health concerns (81% vs. 68%), the cost of cigarettes (37% vs. 22%), and cigarette odor (33% vs. 18%).

Older smokers were significantly more likely than were younger smokers to report a recent hospitalization (23% vs. 13%), a diagnosis of comorbid cardiac disease (78% vs. 38%), cancer (20% vs. 6%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or asthma (37% vs. 23%). Significantly more older smokers also reported that they were smoking more than two packs per day (15% vs. 11%).

Older smokers were significantly more likely to report not wanting to give up their first cigarette in the morning as an obstacle to quitting (69% vs. 54%). In contrast, younger smokers were significantly more likely to cite weight gain (29% vs. 15%), handling social situations (24% vs. 7%), and stress relief without cigarettes (59% vs. 45%) as obstacles to quitting.

"If you're talking to an older person, you're not going to talk about weight gain and going out drinking in the clubs, you're going to go right into how this is impacting that person's health in particular," Ms. …

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