Obstacles to smoking cessation also varied by age group. Younger smokers were more likely than older smokers to report concerns of weight gain (30% vs 15%), stress management (59% vs 45%), fear of failure (15% vs 8%), handling social situations (24% vs 7%), and cravings (44% vs 36%) as obstacles to quitting smoking. Furthermore, 54% of older smokers and 69% of younger smokers reported not wanting to give up their first cigarette in the morning as an obstacle to quitting smoking. Young smokers also believe that trying to quit cold turkey is best, when in reality, only 7% of smokers achieve long-term abstinence without professional help.
To be most effective, treatment plans and education should be relevant to each groups concerns, said Ms. Reichert. She suggests that health-care providers offer weight management programs and stress management strategies as part of the treatment and relapse prevention programs for younger smokers, while older smokers may be more successful with physician encouragement and knowledge of how smoking is influencing their current health conditions.
Tobacco-related diseases are major causes of death in the United States, said Alvin V. Thomas, Jr., MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. The more we know about what motivates smokers to quit their habit and what personal obstacles they face in doing so, the more we can tailor smoking cessation programs to fit the individual needs of our patients.
|Contact: Deana Busche|
American College of Chest Physicians