Title

Short- and Long-Term Cigarette and Tobacco Abstinence Among Daily and Nondaily Older Smokers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

10-26-2022

Journal

Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Volume

24

Issue

11

DOI

10.1093/ntr/ntac116

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: There is mixed evidence regarding whether older (vs. younger) smokers are more or less likely to quit smoking. We examined how age is associated with cigarette and all tobacco product abstinence and the potential moderating effects of smoking frequency. AIMS AND METHODS: Data from a 4-year cohort of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study were used, including 7512 smokers at Wave 1 who had smoking status data at Wave 4. Logistic regression models were used to examine the effects of age (18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, and ≥55 years) on Wave 4, 30-day and 12-month cigarette and all tobacco product abstinence, adjusting for covariates and the interaction between age and cigarette use frequency (nondaily, light daily, and heavy daily). RESULTS: Older smokers (≥55 years) were more likely to be heavy daily smokers than younger smokers 18-24 and 25-34 years, but were less likely to have a past-year cigarette quit attempt. Younger smokers 45-54 years were less likely to report 12-month cigarette abstinence than older smokers (odds ratio = 0.72 [0.54-0.95]). Younger smokers 18-24 and 45-54 years were less likely to report 12-month tobacco product abstinence than older smokers (odds ratio = 0.65 [0.45-0.93]; odds ratio = 0.73 [0.55-0.96], respectively). Thirty-day cigarette abstinence significantly decreased as age increased for nondaily smokers, significantly increased for heavier daily smokers, but remained similar across age for light daily smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Older smokers were more likely to report 12-month cigarette and tobacco abstinence than younger smokers 45-54 years old, and the effect of age on abstinence differed by smoking frequency/intensity. Smoking cessation interventions need to be age specific and consider smoking frequency. IMPLICATIONS: This study shows that although older smokers are more likely to be heavy smokers and less likely to have a quit attempt at baseline, they are more likely to have 12-month cigarette and tobacco abstinence than younger smokers. Furthermore, 30-day cigarette abstinence significantly decreases as age increases for nondaily smokers and significantly increases for heavy daily smokers, suggesting that the effect of cigarette smoking frequency and intensity changes with age. Smoking cessation interventions need to be age specific as well as consider the smoking frequency/intensity of each age group. Younger smokers may need more targeted cessation interventions to successfully quit.

Department

Prevention and Community Health

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