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Age affects motivation for quitting smoking
Date:10/22/2007

(Chicago, IL, October 22, 2007) A new study shows that obstacles to smoking cessation and motives for quitting smoking vary with age. The study presented at CHEST 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), found that smokers over age 65 reported quitting smoking due to physician pressure and stress due to a major health problem, while smokers under age 65 reported cigarette cost and tobacco odor as reasons for quitting.

The current common perception among the medical community is that if smokers age 65 and older havent quit by now, they cant or wont quit a perception which may lead physicians to focus less on their older patients smoking habit, said lead study author Virginia Reichert, NP, Center for Tobacco Control, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Great Neck, New York. Our results show that older smokers are motivated to quit smoking by very different factors compared with younger smokers. If these factors are addressed, we may see cessation rates improve for both age groups.

Ms. Reichert and colleagues from the Center for Tobacco Control at North Shore-LIJ compared health status and motives and obstacles for quitting smoking between 1,909 smokers under age 65 (younger smokers) and 143 smokers over age 65 (older smokers) who were attending a 6-week comprehensive cessation program. Older smokers were more likely than younger smokers to have a recent hospitalization (23% vs 13%), comorbid cardiac disease (78% vs 38%), cancer (20% vs 7%), and/or chronic obstructive lung disease/asthma (37% vs 23%). Regarding motivation, older smokers cited pressure by their physician and stress of a major health problem as main reasons for quitting. Younger smokers attributed their reasons for quitting to the cost of cigarettes, tobacco odor, and general health concerns.

If the cost of cigarettes hasnt made the older smoker quit by now, they are not as likely to be affected by the
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Contact: Deana Busche
dbusche@chestnet.org
American College of Chest Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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