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Singapore Med J. 2019 Nov;60(11):583-589. doi: 10.11622/smedj.2019148.

Smoker motivations and predictors of smoking cessation: lessons from an inpatient smoking cessation programme.

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Department of Cardiology, Changi General Hospital, Singapore.
Department of Nursing, Changi General Hospital, Singapore.



Our study aimed to review the quit rates of smokers from our inpatient smoking cessation programme in relation to habits and sociodemographic factors, and also to explore the potential usefulness of electronic cigarettes (ECs) by reviewing smoking motivations.


This was a retrospective study of patients recruited into our inpatient smoking cessation programme from June 2008 to June 2015. Sociodemographic factors and information on smoking habits were collected using a counsellor-administered questionnaire. Patients were given intensive counselling followed by a phone interview at one, three and six months to assess smoking status.


A total of 2,722 patients were enrolled. 27.6% of patients were abstinent at six months' follow-up. Patients who quit smoking were older, married, initiated smoking at a later age and had lower Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence scores. There was a trend towards successful quitting in those with higher education levels and Chinese ethnicity, but this was not statistically significant. Patients who planned to quit cold turkey and those who quit because of social pressures were more successful. Of the smoking motivations, only nicotine dependence was an independent predictor of smoking cessation.


Smoking motivations such as habitual use and psychological dependence did not influence quit rates and therefore do not support the use of ECs. Instead, a cold turkey method of quitting was shown in our study to contribute to cessation success. We recommend an increased focus on the use of pharmacologic aids as well as involvement of peer/spousal support to aid in such quit attempts.


counselling; electronic cigarettes; smoking cessation; smoking motivations

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