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Prev Med. 2005 Apr;40(4):452-60.

What accounts for the association of education and smoking cessation?

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Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Education has been identified as a potent sociodemographic predictor of smoking cessation and the Healthy People 2010 goals include the elimination of health disparities attributable to education.


The current study prospectively examined the association of education with smoking cessation as well variables that might account for that association among employed adults residing in the southeastern United States.


A strong educational gradient in cessation was evident. Only 6% of smokers with less than a high school (HS) degree quit smoking during the 4-year study period, whereas 17% of smokers with a HS degree but no college degree and 28% of smokers with at least a college degree quit smoking.


Education appeared to uniquely contribute to the prediction of smoking abstinence over and above the effects of demographic, environmental, tobacco dependence, transtheoretical model, and job-related variables. Obtaining a better understanding of how or why education influences smoking cessation could contribute to reducing the educational gradient in abstinence and warrants further research attention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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