Predictors of long-term smoking cessation among smokers enrolled in a university smoking cessation program: A longitudinal study

Hyundeok Joo, Mi Hee Cho, Yongjung Cho, Hee Kyung Joh, Ji Won Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Many lifelong smokers establish smoking habits during young adulthood. A university can be an effective setting for early smoking cessation. We evaluated long-term predictors of smoking cessation among smokers in a university setting.We longitudinally followed a cohort of smokers enrolled in a university smoking cessation program in Seoul, South Korea. Sociodemographic factors, smoking-related variables, and changes in smoking habits were assessed during 6-week visit sessions and follow-up telephone interviews conducted 1 year or more later.A total of 205 participants were followed up (mean follow-up duration: 27.1 months). Cessation rates were 47.3% at the end of the visit sessions and 28.8% at follow-up. The long-term persistent smoking rate was significantly higher among individuals with peers who smoked (odds ratio [OR] = 8.64; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.75, 42.80), with family members who smoked (OR = 3.28; 95% CI = 1.20, 9.00), and who smoked 10 to 19 cigarettes/day (OR = 4.83; 95% CI = 1.49, 15.69). Conversely, persistent smoking was less likely among those who attended the program regularly (OR = 0.84 per visit; 95% CI = 0.72, 0.99) and attempted quitting more frequently (OR = 0.93 per attempt; 95% CI = 0.87, 0.99). Use of smoking cessation medications (varenicline or bupropion) was not significantly associated with long-term quitting (OR = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.26, 1.93).Peer influences were the strongest predictors of failure in long-term cessation among smokers who attempted to quit. Similarly, the existence of smokers in the family was negatively associated with successful quitting. Regular attendance at a smoking cessation program and a high number of attempts to quit were positively associated with successful quitting. Targeting peer and family smoking groups together rather than targeting individual smokers alone, implementing active cessation programs encouraging regular attendance, and providing comprehensive antismoking environments might be effective strategies in a university setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e18994
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

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