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Addict Behav. 1990;15(3):221-33.

Social support and quitting smoking for good. Is there an association? Results from the population study, "Men born in 1914," Malmö, Sweden.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.


The objective in this study was to analyse whether there is independent association between social network, social support, social influence and quitting smoking for good. The study sample (n = 621) comprised a random half of all male Malmö residents born in 1914, of which 500 (80.5%) participated. A new instrument based on a model with carefully defined and well differentiated concepts was used to measure different aspects of social network, social support and social influence. In logistic regression analysis, emotional support (an important aspect of social support) had an association to quitting smoking for good (odds ratio 3.1, 95% confidence interval 1.9-5.4), when adjustments were made for social class, marital status (spousal support), alcohol consumption, physical activity, smoking of spouse and different medical conditions. Emotional support reflects the individuals' opportunity for care, encouragement of personal value and feelings of confidence and trust. This may contribute to a deeper understanding of mechanisms behind smoking cessation and could be of importance in the field of health promotion, but also for improvement of the long-term results of smoking cessation programs and in our clinical work with patients who smoke.

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