5-year trends in the intention to quit smoking amidst the economic crisis and after recently implemented tobacco control measures in Greece
© Schoretsaniti et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Published: 6 June 2014
The objective of the present study was to explore the trends in the intention to quit smoking among adults in Greece between 2006-2011, a period characterized by financial instability and newly endorsed tobacco control initiatives.
Materials and methods
Trends analysis of 3 representative national and cross-sectional surveys, ‘Hellas Health I’ (2006), “Hellas Health III” (2010) and Hellas Health IV (2011).
Since 2006, the intention to quit smoking has significantly increased among both genders (33.3% [in 2006] to 42.4% [in 2011], p=0.002), among respondents aged >54 years (26.9% [in 2006] to 45.1% [in 2011], p=0.019) and among residents of rural areas (26.4% [in 2006] to 46.7% [in 2011], p=0.001). Both highest (32.1% [in 2006] to 49.4% [in 2011], p=0.036) and lowest (31.7% to 46.0%, p=0.021) socioeconomic (SE) strata showed an increase in the proportion of smokers who intend to quit. However, in 2011, quit attempts were more frequent (35.3%, p=0.009) in smokers of high socioeconomic status. Moreover, smoking prevalence has significantly decreased (43.1% [in 2006] to 38.1% [in 2011], p=0.023), mainly among men (52.4% to 45.7%, p=0.037), respondents of low socioeconomic status (38.9% to 29.4%, p=0.008) and residents of urban areas (45.2% to 37.9%, p=0.005).
Over the past 5 years and possibly as a combined result of the implemented tobacco control policies and austerity measures, the intention to quit smoking has increased among all SE strata, however actual quit attempts were higher among those less disadvantaged. Further effort should be made to support quit attempts, especially among vulnerable populations.
The work was supported by the George D. Behrakis Foundation through the HEART project (Hellenic Action for Research against Tobacco).
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