THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Quitting smoking is much
more difficult for poor people than for those who have greater
financial and social status, U.S. researchers have found.
For the study, more than 2,700 smokers were given nicotine
patches and a type of treatment called cognitive-behavioral
therapy, which is based on the idea that people can learn to change
their behavior by changing their thinking patterns. The researchers
then assessed the participants' progress in quitting smoking three
and six months after the treatment period.
The investigators found that, compared to people with the lowest
socioeconomic status, those with the highest socioeconomic status
were 55 percent more likely to have quit smoking after three
months, and 2.5 times more likely after six months. The term
socioeconomic status takes into account factors such as income,
education, occupation and where a person lives.
In addition, the study authors found that people with a low
socioeconomic status received less treatment, and had fewer
resources and less support to sustain abstinence from smoking.
The study findings were released online Thursday in advance of
publication in the March print issue of the
American Journal of Public Health.
The findings suggest efforts are needed to provide lower
socioeconomic status groups with more treatment, and that
strategies should target common challenges, such as stress levels
and proximity to other smokers, Christine Sheffer, of the
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and
colleagues said in a journal news release.
The American Cancer Society offers a
guide to quitting smoking.