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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Association Between Socioeconomic Status and Access to Care and Quitting Smoking with and Without As

Friday, April 14, 2017  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Sarah A Edwards, Russell C Callaghan, Robert E Mann, Susan J Bondy.
Association Between Socioeconomic Status and Access to Care and Quitting Smoking with and Without Assistance.
Nicotine Tob Res 2017 ntx059. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntx059

Disparities in smoking rates persist, in Ontario, despite public health care and universal tobacco control policies. Mechanisms for continuing disparities are not fully understood. Unequal access or utilization of assistance for cessation may contribute. The objective of this research was to use longitudinal data on smokers to examine the associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and access to care measures and assisted and unassisted quit attempts. Data were taken from 3578 smokers with at least one follow-up interview participating in the Ontario Tobacco Survey (OTS). Multinomial regression models with imputed missing values were run for each measure of SES and access to care to assess the association with quitting behaviour and use of assistance, unadjusted and while adjusting for smoking history and demographic covariates. Adjusted analyses found smokers living in areas with the lowest ethnic concentration were more likely to make an assisted quit attempt compared to unassisted quitting (RR=1.64; 95% CI=1.08-2.50) or making no quit attempt (RR=1.65; 95% CI=1.15-2.37). Smokers who reported visiting a doctor in the previous 6 months were more likely to quit with assistance versus unassisted compared to those not visiting a doctor, whether they were advised (RR=1.89, 95% CI=1.43-2.48) or not advised to quit (OR=1.32, 95% CI=1.01-1.74). Similar results were seen when comparing assisted quit attempts with no quit attempts. Adjusted analyses showed that quitting with assistance was unrelated to measures of SES except ethnic concentration. Physician intervention with patients who smoke is important for increasing assisted quit attempts. For most measures of SES there were no significant associations with either assisted or unassisted quitting adjusting for demographic and smoking history. Smokers who live in areas with the lowest ethnic concentration were most likely to use assistance as were smokers who visited their doctor and were advised to quit smoking. Interventions to increase the delivery of effective quitting methods in smokers living in areas with high ethnic concentrations and to increase physician compliance with asking and advising patients to quit may increase assisted quit attempts.

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