Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

National age and sex differences in quitting smoking.


The 1986 Adult Use of Tobacco Survey conducted by the Office on Smoking and Health of the Centers for Disease Control asked detailed questions on smoking behavior from a representative sample of 13,031 Americans. Using a smoking continuum developed from that survey as an index, it was postulated that a hard-core group of smokers would be overrepresented in some categories of this continuum in certain groups of the population. In this survey, more women than men who had quit in the preceding year had relapsed to smoking by the time of the survey. However, the fact that similar proportions of men and women had quit smoking for between one and five years suggested that the difference might not have involved the proportion who relapsed but only the timing of that relapse. Smokers over the age of 65 are more likely both to attempt to quit and to continue abstaining than those between ages 25 and 64. Results from this survey do not indicate a major group of smokers who either resist change or who feel unable to quit successfully.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View