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Comparison of smoking cessation between education groups: findings from 2 US National Surveys over 2 decades.

  • Author(s): Zhuang, Yue-Lin
  • Gamst, Anthony C
  • Cummins, Sharon E
  • Wolfson, Tanya
  • Zhu, Shu-Hong
  • et al.

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We examined smoking cessation rate by education and determined how much of the difference can be attributed to the rate of quit attempts and how much to the success of these attempts.We analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS, 1991-2010) and the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS, 1992-2011). Smokers (≥ 25 years) were divided into lower- and higher-education groups (≤ 12 years and >12 years).A significant difference in cessation rate between the lower- and the higher-education groups persisted over the last 2 decades. On average, the annual cessation rate for the former was about two thirds that of the latter (3.5% vs 5.2%; P<.001, for both NHIS and TUS-CPS). About half the difference in cessation rate can be attributed to the difference in quit attempt rate and half to the difference in success rate.Smokers in the lower-education group have consistently lagged behind their higher-education counterparts in quitting. In addition to the usual concern about improving their success in quitting, tobacco control programs need to find ways to increase quit attempts in this group.

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