Introduction/Aim: Identification of factors that predicts smoking initiation and cessation is of importance both for effective prevention strategies and cessation aid. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to characterise individuals that has started to smoke and individuals that quit smoking, with respect to age, sex, education, socio-economic circumstances, and family situation and analyse to what extent these variables predicts smoking initiation and smoking cessation. The results are discussed in relation to the policy and societal development in Sweden.
Design/Method: The data consists of self-reported data on smoking experiences, obtained from the so-called Monitor-project during Oct 2009- May 2010. By the turn of each month 1 500 individuals, aged 16-84, from a representative sample in the Swedish population (n=12 008) were interviewed via telephone. The analyses consist of descriptive statistics as well as logistic regression models.
Results: Smoking initiation and cessation is found to vary between socio-demographic and socio-economic factors, and the rapid decrease in smoking during the past decades has resulted in a rather vulnerable group of smokers in these aspects. The changes in smoking patterns can be understood and explained in relation to social and tobacco policy developments in Sweden.
Discussion/Conclusions: The study concludes that the present situation, with a low smoking prevalence over all, however concentrated to rather vulnerable groups, such as young, low educated and single women, gives raise for the need of measures in the social-political framework.