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Gac Sanit. 1999 Sep-Oct;13(5):353-60.

[Determinants of quitting smoking in Catalonia, Spain].

[Article in Spanish]

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Institut Universitari de Salut Pública de Catalunya, Universitat de Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, 08907, España.



While trends in the prevalence of smoking and ex-smoking in Catalonia, Spain have been monitored, the characteristics of those smokers who quit have not been investigated. The aim of this investigation was to analyze the prevalence of cessation, or quit ratio, in Catalonia and to study its sociodemographic, life-style, and smoking correlates.


We analyzed data collected in the Catalan Health Interview Survey conducted in 1994. This is a cross-sectional study based on a representative sample of the non-institutionalized population of Catalonia. We included for analysis a total of 5,424 subjects (3,649 males and 1,775 females) who declared to be current smokers (2,335 males and 1,331 females) or past smokers (1,314 males and 444 females). We computed the crude and age-standardized quit ratios (QR) or prevalence of cessation, as well as the odds ratio (OR) of quitting smoking, according to gender and the variables studied.


The age-standardized QR was 31. 8% for males and 30.9% for females and increased with age. The QR was, both in males and females, greater among married subjects, with higher socioeconomic status, and with healthy life-styles (moderate and heavy leisure physical activity and moderate alcohol consumption). The OR of quitting smoking was higher in heavy smokers (OR = 2.9; 95% CI: 2.2-3.8; smokers of > 30 cigarettes/day vs. 1-10 cigarettes/day) in males, while it was < 1 for females of medium intensity, conforming a shaped curve rather than a linear trend (OR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.0-2.9, in heavy smokers).


This study confirms a positive association in males and females between quitting smoking and increasing age, a higher socioeconomic level, heavy smoking, and healthy life-styles. The identification of these groups should facilitate the planning of successful interventions. Further effort is also necessary to target groups with low cessation rates, such as individuals in disadvantaged social classes and light smokers.

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