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Publication Detail
Positive smoker identity as a barrier to quitting smoking: findings from a national survey of smokers in England.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Tombor I, Shahab L, Brown J, West R
  • Publication date:
    01/12/2013
  • Pagination:
    740, 745
  • Journal:
    Drug Alcohol Depend
  • Volume:
    133
  • Issue:
    2
  • Status:
    Published
  • Country:
    Ireland
  • PII:
    S0376-8716(13)00358-X
  • Language:
    eng
  • Keywords:
    Barriers, Positive smoker identity, Quit attempt, Quit success, Smoking Toolkit Study, Smoking cessation, Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Attitude, England, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Surveys, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Prevalence, Reinforcement, Psychology, Sex Factors, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Socioeconomic Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult
Abstract
BACKGROUND: It has been proposed that positive smoker identity may be an important factor undermining smoking cessation but very little research exists on this. This study tested the hypothesis that a simple measure of positive smoker identity would predict quit attempts over and above other known predictors in a population sample. More tentatively it explored whether this measure would also predict quit success. METHODS: A representative sample of adult smokers in England (n=9456) was included at baseline and 2099 were followed-up at six months. Demographic and smoking characteristics, a single item measure of positive smoker identity (endorsing the statement: 'I like being a smoker'), measures of smoking-related attitudes, quit attempts and quit success were included. RESULTS: A total of 18.3% (95% CI=17.5-19.2) of smokers reported a positive smoker identity. Adjusting for all other predictors, those with a positive smoker identity were more likely to be older (p<0.001), male (p=0.013), more nicotine dependent (p<0.001), have lower motivation to stop (p<0.001), have not made a quit attempt in the past year (p=0.025), enjoy smoking (p<0.001), and consider themselves to be addicted (p<0.001). Having a positive smoker identity independently predicted failure to make a quit attempt at six months (p=0.007). The independent association with quit success was similar in magnitude but did not reach statistical significance (p=0.053). CONCLUSIONS: Only a minority of smokers in England have a positive smoker identity. However, where it is present it may be an important barrier to quitting smoking and merits further study.
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