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Mil Med. 2004 Dec;169(12):972-5.

Distribution of stages of change in smoking behavior in a group of young smokers (transtheoretical model).

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  • 1Respiratory Service, Defense Military Central Hospital, Madrid, Spain.


The aim of this study was to evaluate stages of self-change in smoking behavior in a group of young people. From May 1999 to October 2002, successive surveys were made, consisting of an anonymous, personal, and voluntary questionnaire that was distributed among enlisted personnel at military bases in Burgos and Madrid, Spain. The survey contained questions about personal data, characteristics of their smoking habit, reasons to stop smoking, and attempts to stop smoking. A descriptive statistical study was made 195% confidence interval). The questionnaire was given to 1,886 young people, of which 28 (1.48%) did not answer and 578 (31.10%) were women. The average age (+/- SD) of the subjects in the group was 21.6 +/- 2.91 years. Six hundred eighty-one (36.65%) were smokers, 479 men (37.42% of all men) and 202 women (34.94% of all women), and 82 (4.4%) were ex-smokers. Fourteen persons surveyed stated that they were nonsmokers but had stopped smoking less than a year earlier. Of the smokers, 300 (44.05%) were at the stage of precontemplation of smoking cessation and 295 (43.31%) were at the contemplation stage. Eighty-six (12.62%) of the smokers stated that they would be willing to stop smoking in the next 30 days (preparation stage). At the time that they completed the survey, 14 subjects were in the action stage. Forty-four percent (43.70%) had previously tried to stop smoking (p < 0.01) and had achieved abstinence for a mean (+/- SD) of 2.52 +/- 2.17 months. We found no significant differences between sexes. The relative distribution of stages of self-change in the smoking behavior of young smokers in this group did not differ from that found in developed countries around Spain.

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