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Anti-smoking social norms are associated with increased cessation behaviours among lower and higher socioeconomic status smokers: A population-based cohort study

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background: Social denormalisation of smoking can provide an environment that helps smokers to quit. This study examined which of three measures of anti-smoking social norms have the greatest influence on quitting-related cognitions and behaviours, and if this influence differs according to socioeconomic status (SES).

    Methods: The Victorian Tracking Survey measured social norms among 1,348 (n(weighted) = 1,373) Australian adult smokers (aged 18–59) between 2012 and 2014, who were followed-up one week later. Weighted logistic regression analyses examined prospective associations of baseline subjective (family and friends’ disapproval of smoking), injunctive (feeling embarrassed about being a smoker) and descriptive norms (living with someone who tried to quit in the past 12 months), with quitting-related cognitions and behaviours at follow-up. Data were weighted to account for telephony status (landline or mobile phone), sex and age. Analyses were adjusted for demographic characteristics, addiction level, tobacco control policies and quitting-related outcomes measured at baseline. Differences in associations between lower and higher SES smokers (based on educational attainment and area-based disadvantage) were examined through interaction terms and stratified analyses.

    Results: Sixty-four percent of participants (n(weighted) = 872) perceived disapproval from family and friends, 31% (n(weighted) = 419) felt embarrassed to be a smoker, and 11% (n(weighted) = 155) lived with a recent quitter. All three norms were associated with having set a firm date to quit in the next month and with engaging in smoking limiting behaviours. Embarrassment was also associated with an increased likelihood of talking about quitting and with making a quit attempt. Associations were mostly comparable for lower and higher SES smokers, with no significant negative rebound effects overall or among subgroups.

    Conclusions: These findings indicate close others’ disapproval and feelings of embarrassment most strongly motivate smokers to try to quit. If tobacco control policies or media campaigns further denormalise smoking, there should be no reason for concern that such denormalisation undermines cessation behaviours.

UOW Authors


  •   Schoenaker, Danielle (external author)
  •   Brennan, Emily (external author)
  •   Dr Melanie Wakefield, Melanie (external author)
  •   Durkin, Sarah (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Schoenaker, D. A. J. M., Brennan, E., Wakefield, M. A. & Durkin, S. J. (2018). Anti-smoking social norms are associated with increased cessation behaviours among lower and higher socioeconomic status smokers: A population-based cohort study. PLoS One, 13 (12), e0208950-1-e0208950-17.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85058449218

Start Page


  • e0208950-1

End Page


  • e0208950-17

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • 12

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Background: Social denormalisation of smoking can provide an environment that helps smokers to quit. This study examined which of three measures of anti-smoking social norms have the greatest influence on quitting-related cognitions and behaviours, and if this influence differs according to socioeconomic status (SES).

    Methods: The Victorian Tracking Survey measured social norms among 1,348 (n(weighted) = 1,373) Australian adult smokers (aged 18–59) between 2012 and 2014, who were followed-up one week later. Weighted logistic regression analyses examined prospective associations of baseline subjective (family and friends’ disapproval of smoking), injunctive (feeling embarrassed about being a smoker) and descriptive norms (living with someone who tried to quit in the past 12 months), with quitting-related cognitions and behaviours at follow-up. Data were weighted to account for telephony status (landline or mobile phone), sex and age. Analyses were adjusted for demographic characteristics, addiction level, tobacco control policies and quitting-related outcomes measured at baseline. Differences in associations between lower and higher SES smokers (based on educational attainment and area-based disadvantage) were examined through interaction terms and stratified analyses.

    Results: Sixty-four percent of participants (n(weighted) = 872) perceived disapproval from family and friends, 31% (n(weighted) = 419) felt embarrassed to be a smoker, and 11% (n(weighted) = 155) lived with a recent quitter. All three norms were associated with having set a firm date to quit in the next month and with engaging in smoking limiting behaviours. Embarrassment was also associated with an increased likelihood of talking about quitting and with making a quit attempt. Associations were mostly comparable for lower and higher SES smokers, with no significant negative rebound effects overall or among subgroups.

    Conclusions: These findings indicate close others’ disapproval and feelings of embarrassment most strongly motivate smokers to try to quit. If tobacco control policies or media campaigns further denormalise smoking, there should be no reason for concern that such denormalisation undermines cessation behaviours.

UOW Authors


  •   Schoenaker, Danielle (external author)
  •   Brennan, Emily (external author)
  •   Dr Melanie Wakefield, Melanie (external author)
  •   Durkin, Sarah (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Schoenaker, D. A. J. M., Brennan, E., Wakefield, M. A. & Durkin, S. J. (2018). Anti-smoking social norms are associated with increased cessation behaviours among lower and higher socioeconomic status smokers: A population-based cohort study. PLoS One, 13 (12), e0208950-1-e0208950-17.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85058449218

Start Page


  • e0208950-1

End Page


  • e0208950-17

Volume


  • 13

Issue


  • 12

Place Of Publication


  • United States