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Am J Public Health. 1992 Sep;82(9):1268-71.

Predictors of smoking cessation and relapse in older adults.

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Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry Program, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.

Erratum in

  • Am J Public Health 1992 Nov;82(11):1489.


We examined longitudinal changes in smoking behavior among older adults in three community cohorts of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly. Smoking prevalence declined from 15% at baseline to 9% during 6 years of follow-up. Annual smoking cessation and relapse rates were 10% and less than 1%, respectively. Interval diagnosis of myocardial infarction, stroke, or cancer increased subsequent smoking cessation but not relapse. Although smoking cessation around diagnosis is increased, primary prevention could yield greater benefits.

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