Objectives Although various effective interventions are available to help individuals quit smoking, the effect of educational levels on cessation rates has rarely been studied, and of the few intervention studies on this topic, the results have been conflicting.
Design and setting From October 2008 to August 2013, a partly retrospective non-randomised study was conducted in a smoking cessation clinic of a large general hospital in Beijing, China.
Participants In total, 547 Chinese smokers who sought treatment were divided into two groups: a face-to-face counselling group (FC, n=149) and an FC group subjected to four telephone follow-up sessions (FCF, n=398).
Outcomes We evaluated self-reported cessation rates by day 7 and after 6 and 12 months and stratified the two groups by education levels.
Results The 7-day and 6-month and 12-month continuous cessation rates of smokers of low education levels in the FC group at the time of the 12-month follow-up were 12.5%, 7.1% and 7.1%, respectively, which were lower than those of the highly educated smokers (16.1%, 12.9% and 9.7%, respectively). The results were opposite for the FCF group. The corresponding results for the highly educated smokers of the FCF group were 25.0%, 17.2% and 10.3%, respectively, which were lower than those for the smokers of low education levels (28.3%, 22.9% and 18.1%, respectively). However, significant differences were observed only among the FCF group participants who had experienced 12 months of continuous abstinence, and the crude OR for these individuals was recorded at 0.52 (0.29 to 0.93), p=0.03. A stepwise logistic regression showed that education levels may play a role in various intervention methods. Being married and higher Fagerström test scores were also predictors of cessation tendencies.
Conclusions Education levels may affect the benefits of booster counselling sessions on smoking cessation among Chinese smokers.
- PUBLIC HEALTH
- SOCIAL MEDICINE
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