To identify predictors of quit attempts and of 3-month abstinence from cigarette smoking.
Secondary analysis of data gathered for a two-armed randomised controlled trial with 6-month follow-up.
123 general practices across the UK PARTICIPANTS: 4397 participants who completed the 6-month follow-up. Participants were categorised on self-reported smoking behaviour at 6-month follow-up as non-attempters (n = 2664), attempted quitters (n = 1548) and successful quitters (n = 185).
Demographic characteristics, smoking history and nicotine dependence, cognitive and social-environmental factors measured at baseline were examined as potential predictors of quit attempts and 3-month abstinence.
Univariate predictors of quit attempts included commitment (OR = 11.64, 95%CI 8.30-16.32), motivation (OR = 2.10, 95%CI 1.98-2.22) and determination to quit (OR = 1.94, 95%CI 1.83-2.05). Successful quitting was associated with being married (OR = 1.51, 95%CI 1.11-2.05), lower social deprivation (OR = 0.47, 95%CI 0.30-0.74), higher reading level (OR = 1.62, 95%CI 1.19-2.21) and lower nicotine dependence (OR = 0.42, 95%CI 0.29-0.62). Health problems related to smoking and previous quit attempts for 3 months or longer predicted both. In the multivariate analysis, the significant predictors of making a quit attempt were; later stage of readiness to quit (OR = 5.38, 95%CI 3.67-7.89), motivation (OR = 1.48, 95%CI 1.34-1.62) and determination to quit (OR = 1.16, 95%CI 1.05-1.29) and health problems related to smoking (OR = 1.44, 95%CI 1.18-1.75). For 3-month abstinence, the only significant predictor was not having health problems related to smoking (OR = 0.50, 95%CI 0.30-0.83).
While high motivation and determination to quit is necessary to prompt an attempt to quit smoking, demographic factors and level of nicotine dependence are more important for maintaining abstinence.