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Publication Detail
Association between income and education with quit attempts, use of cessation aids, and short-term success in tobacco smokers: A social gradient analysis from a population-based cross-sectional household survey in Germany (DEBRA study)
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Introduction: Smoking is more prevalent in smokers from lower compared with higher socioeconomic (SES) groups, but studies are inconsistent regarding underlying mechanisms. We aimed to assess associations between SES indicators and three distinct aspects of the smoking cessation process: attempting to quit; use of evidence-based cessation treatments; and success. Methods: We analysed data of 12,161 last-year smokers (i.e., current smokers and recent ex-smokers who quit ≤ 12 months) from 20 waves (June/July 2016 to August/September 2019) of the German Study on Tobacco Use (DEBRA) – a representative household survey. Associations between indicators of SES (income and education) and (1) last-year quit attempts; (2) use of evidence-based cessation treatment or electronic cigarettes during the last attempt; and (3) short-term self-reported abstinence were analysed using multivariable logistic regression, adjusted for potential confounders. Results: Of all last-years smokers, 18.6% had attempted to quit, of whom 15.2% had successfully stopped. Higher income (OR 0.82, 95%CI = 0.77–0.88 per 1000€) but low vs. high education (OR 0.83, 95%CI = 0.73–0.95) were associated with lower odds of quit attempts. In smokers with quit attempts, higher income but not education was associated with higher odds of using cessation medication (OR 1.31, 95%CI = 1.08–1.59 per 1000 €). Neither income nor education were associated with using behavioural support or success. Conclusions: In the German healthcare system without free access to evidence-based cessation therapy, low-income smokers are more likely to make a quit attempt but less likely to use cessation medication than high-income smokers. Equitable access to such medication is crucial to reduce SES-related health disparities.
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