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Am J Prev Med. 1996 Sep-Oct;12(5):367-77.

Helping women quit smoking: baseline observations for a community health education project.

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Office of Health Promotion Research, University of Vermont, Burlington, USA.



Our objectives were (1) to examine the relationship between women's intention of stopping smoking in the next month and a broad range of mediating variables and (2) to assess the implications of these relationships for intervention components of a comprehensive community-wide health education program to help women quit smoking.


In preparation for the community-wide program to help women quit smoking, baseline data were collected through a random digit dialing telephone survey of 6,324 adult women, 18-64 years of age.


At baseline, smoking prevalence, defined as smoking an average of one or more cigarettes per day, was 25.8% and showed clear relationships with age and income, but most strikingly with education, indicating the need for programs for women of childbearing age with low incomes and fewer years of schooling. Among female smokers, knowledge of the health effects of smoking; motivations toward quitting; confidence in controlling weight, or handling stress, anger or boredom; number of strategies named to cope when upset of angry; number of community smoking cessation resources named; perceptions of support for quitting; and perceptions of norms concerning women smoking varied significantly with level of intention to quit smoking in the next month.


These relationships provided support for the broad range of health behavior change strategies proposed for this community-based program to help women quit smoking.

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