Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Older People More Successful Than Younger In Quitting Smoking

Date:
March 19, 2006
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Older women appear to quit smoking and stay off cigarettes in higher numbers than men in their age group, and older men and women are more likely to quit if they have recently received a diagnosis of cancer, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Older women appear to quit smoking and stay off cigarettes in higher numbers than men in their age group, and older men and women are more likely to quit if they have recently received a diagnosis of cancer, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

The study results also showed that older people are far more likely to successfully quit smoking than has been indicated in other studies of smoking cessation in younger people. The researchers said that such findings hint that the reasons older people give up smoking might be quite different than those of younger people, although their study was not designed to elicit such motives.

"The patterns of smoking cessation in older people are quite different than previous research has shown with regard to smoking cessation in younger populations," said Heather Whitson, MD, a geriatrics fellow at Duke's Center for the Study of Aging. "More research is needed, but with greater understanding of motivations for quitting in later life, better cessation programs could be developed for this population. This would be particularly true if we could determine quality of life benefits and longevity for older people who quit."

The study findings appear in the March 2006 edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The research was supported by Duke's division of geriatrics.

Whitson's team sought to learn whether the factors that best predict smoking cessation in younger smokers would also be associated with smoking cessation in older people.

The team selected a group of 573 elderly smokers from the North Carolina Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE) database, and reviewed those participants according to their reported smoking habits for a maximum period of ten years.

The North Carolina EPESE database is a collaborative, prospective study that was funded by the National Institute on Aging. The database includes epidemiologic information on 4,162 racially and socioeconomically diverse older people living in a contiguous five-county area in central North Carolina. Participants' health information was collected over a period of ten years, from 1986 to 1996.

To be included in this current study, the EPESE participants had to have been regular smokers upon enrollment in EPESE and to have survived at least three years from the point of enrollment. Based upon their smoking behaviors at follow-up interviews for the EPESE study, the 573 observational study participants were categorized as "quitters" (100 participants) or "nonquitters" (473 participants).

The researchers found that female elderly participants were more likely to quit smoking than men in their age group. Additionally, participants who quit smoking were more likely to have received a serious health diagnosis, such as cancer or heart disease, although the measurement did not achieve statistical significance, the researchers said.

The majority of older people who quit smoking during the first three years of the study remained quitters until the time of their death or at least until the end of the EPESE study period -- at which time, the health tracking period ended.

Of those who quit smoking by the first follow-up session, only 16 percent returned to smoking, which contrasts sharply with previous smoking cessation research that has shown 35 to 45 percent recidivism rates in younger populations within two years of quitting.

The researchers acknowledge that the low recidivism rate in the elderly could, in part, be due to higher mortality rates, but that it could also reflect a fundamental difference in smokers who change their habits at an advanced age, they said.

"Something novel may be motivating those older people who do give up smoking - either they are really motivated to give up the habit or factors outside of their control are influencing the decision to quit," Whitson said.

Other factors that might influence quitting include loss of transportation (therefore loss of access to cigarettes), onset of dementia, financial constraints or a move to assisted living or to a relative's home where smoking is not permitted.

Mitchell Heflin, M.D. and Bruce Burchett, Ph.D., both of Duke, are also authors on the study.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Older People More Successful Than Younger In Quitting Smoking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060319150204.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2006, March 19). Older People More Successful Than Younger In Quitting Smoking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060319150204.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Older People More Successful Than Younger In Quitting Smoking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060319150204.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins