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Developmental pathways to smoking cessation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Drugs and alcohol today, ISSN 1745-9265, Vol. 14, no 2, 96-106 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – To a great extent research about smoking cessation has focussed on effects from different support programs and means, in spite of that several studies have shown that over 90 percent quit smoking without such help. Factors that are important for the individual in the process from being a smoker to becoming smoke-free is less examined and also how these factors interact. The purpose of this paper is to describe typical careers or pathways that end up with a successful smoking cessation.

Design/methodology/approach – Respondents were recruited during Oct 2009-May 2010 via screening-questions in the so-called Monitor – project. By the turn of each month 1,500 individuals, aged 16-84, from a representative sample in the Swedish population, were interviewed via telephone. Respondents who stated being previous daily smokers, but smoke-free for at least 12 months, and agreed to participate were asked to answer a postal survey (n=¼1,683) concerning their process to a smoke-free life. The analyses of data included the linking of individuals between different states in the stages toward becoming smoke-free.

Findings – Several typical pathways were described and respondents with more severe smoking habits followed different pathways than individuals with milder problems. Nicotine replacement therapys or Swedish smoke-free tobacco was not found to be a component in any of the typical pathways.

Originality/value – Smoking cessation is a heterogeneous phenomenon and individuals can follow several pathways to become smoke-free, therefore this study adds to a more nuanced picture of smoking cessation and also expands the knowledge concerning smoking cessation in individual long-term processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 14, no 2, 96-106 p.
Keyword [en]
cluster analysis, process, pathways, smoke-free, smoking cessation
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108480DOI: 10.1108/DAT-11-2013-0046OAI: diva2:758911
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 140 67 02
Available from: 2014-10-28 Created: 2014-10-28 Last updated: 2014-11-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Smoking cessation in Sweden - gender, pathways, and identity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Smoking cessation in Sweden - gender, pathways, and identity
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research on smoking has to a great deal been conducted within a public health or a medical context, or focused on policy making. Fewer studies have taken their point of departure in a social sciences context, and still fewer have analysed why individuals start and cease to smoke, and how and why smoking patterns on an aggregate level change over time and vary between different population groups.

The aim of this dissertation is to analyse changes in the Swedish tobacco consumption with special emphasis at elucidating the decrease in smoking during the past half-century from different angels. Thus, the first paper explore if and how changes in smoking patterns can be understood and explained with reference to Sweden’s development as a welfare state, and in relation to socio-demographic and socio-economic circumstances. The second paper focuses on the long-term pathways to smoking cessation, by discerning several distinct trajectories from smoker to non-smoker. The third paper analyses gender differences with regard to reasons to smoke, experiences of smoking, and central elements in the cessation process. Finally, in the fourth paper, the issue of to what extent smoking cessation can be described as a process of identity change is explored.  

Smoking initiation and cessation vary by socio-demographic and socio-economic factors, and the rapid decrease in smoking has resulted in a rather vulnerable group of smokers in these aspects. The results also indicate that the cessation process is complex, with personal and structural factors interacting in the long-term process, leading to multiple pathways to a smoke-free life. Moreover, they point to gender differences in reasons to smoke and to quit, and in strategies to quit smoking. In addition, identity change seems to be important in remaining smoke-free. The stated inequality in gender and class points in the direction that structural changes and social policies might be of need to decrease smoking even further.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2014. 85 p.
Dissertations at the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD), ISSN 1650-819X ; 13
Smoking, smoking cessation, Sweden, gender, pathways, identity, socio-demographic background, socio-economic factors, trajectories, factor analyses, interviews
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108481 (URN)978-91-7649-037-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-12-10, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Women, Health and Substance use
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 140 67 02

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 3: Accepted. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-11-18 Created: 2014-10-28 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Sohlberg, ToveWennberg, Peter
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