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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Self-reported Withdrawal Symptoms and Quitting Smoking Three Years Late

Thursday, September 8, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Andrea H. Weinberger, Jonathan M. Platt, Philip H. Smith, and Renee D. Goodwin.
Racial/Ethnic Differences in Self-reported Withdrawal Symptoms and Quitting Smoking Three Years Later: A Prospective, Longitudinal Examination of U.S. Adults.
Nicotine Tob Res (2016)doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw221First published online: August 31, 2016
 
Racial/ethnic groups appear to differ on quit success and withdrawal is a key factor in cessation failure, yet little is known about racial/ethnic differences in withdrawal symptoms. This study of U.S. adults examined racial/ethnic differences in current smokers’ report of withdrawal symptoms and the relationship between withdrawal symptoms and quitting smoking three years later. Using data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (Wave 1, 2001-2001; Wave 2, 2004-2005), analyses were conducted on participants who identified as Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black, or Hispanic; reported current cigarette smoking at Wave 1; and provided smoking status information at Wave 2 (n=7,981). Withdrawal symptoms during past quit attempts were assessed at Wave 1. Among Wave 1 current smoking adults, Non-Hispanic White respondents were more likely than Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic respondents to report experiencing at least one withdrawal symptom, seven out of eight withdrawal symptoms, withdrawal-related discomfort, and withdrawal-related distress (ps<0.0001). While withdrawal symptoms were associated with a lower odds of quitting smoking for all groups, a stronger relationship between number of symptoms and lower odds of quitting was evident among Non-Hispanic White compared to Non-Hispanic Black respondents (interaction beta=0.065, p=0.0001). For Non-Hispanic White participants, each additional withdrawal symptom was associated with a 6% decrease in the odds of quitting. Withdrawal symptoms were more commonly reported by Non-Hispanic White adults than Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic adults and appeared to have a greater impact on failure to quit smoking for Non-Hispanic White compared to Non-Hispanic Black adults. To our knowledge, this is the first study to use prospective, longitudinal data to examine the relationship between race and withdrawal symptoms and the impact of withdrawal symptoms on quitting among adults in the U.S. Non-Hispanic White adults were more likely to report withdrawal symptoms and there was a stronger relationship between greater number of withdrawal symptoms and lower odds of quitting for Non-Hispanic White adults compared to Non-Hispanic Black adults. Developing a better understanding of racial/ethnic differences in withdrawal and cessation can help to tailor efforts to improve outcomes for smokers in various racial/ethnic groups.


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