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Identity changes in Smoking cessation- results from a Swedish sample of stable former smokers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous research on recovering from different addictive behaviours has examined e.g. the need for change in lifestyle, the importance of social networks, and more medical aspects like how to overcome craving, and coping. However, as suggested by Koski-Jännes (2002), a recovery might require identity work to achieve a more permanent change. Thus, this is a study of the, eventual, long-term changes in identity among former smokers.

   Subjects were recruited from a representative sample of stable former smokers who previously had answered a postal survey (n=1683) concerning their process to a smoke-free life, and in relation to this been asked if they were willing to take part in a personal interview about their smoking cessation process. Out of convenience reasons, 150 interviewees were randomly selected among residents in Stockholm county (n=267), and out of these 75 had agreed to take part in a personal interview. After a second request 41 subjects were still willing to participate. Out of them, 10 women and 10 men were randomly chosen, and contacted at least three times via telephone during April and May 2012. The final sample consists of 19 former smokers (10 women, 9 men), who had been smoke-free for at least the latest 12 months before the interview.

       Finally, 19 personal, semi-structured, interviews were performed during May 2012. Respondents were asked to draw a life-line, and the interview circled around how they had experienced, understood, and interpreted the changes in their “smoking-career” – from initiation to cessation – with special emphasize on identity matters, and whether the changes in smoking also implied changes in respondents’ social and personal identity (Harré, 1983, Koski-Jännes, 2002).  The transcriptions of the semi-structured interviews were analyzed using basic Content Analysis (e.g. Morgan, 1993; White & Marsch, 2006).   The analyses showed that mainly women had benefited of an identity change in their smoking cessation process.  

Keyword [en]
Smoking cessation, Personal identity, Social identity, Interviews, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109071OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-109071DiVA: diva2:762243
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 1406702
Available from: 2014-11-11 Created: 2014-11-11 Last updated: 2014-11-13
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.
Series
Dissertations at the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD), ISSN 1650-819X ; 13
Keyword
Smoking, smoking cessation, Sweden, gender, pathways, identity, socio-demographic background, socio-economic factors, trajectories, factor analyses, interviews
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Women, Health and Substance use
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 140 67 02
Note

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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