Successful Ex-Smokers Show Trust In Health Care, Upbeat Attitude
People who have successfully quit smoking cigarettes are more likely to have visited a trusted health care provider and to report good mental health than current smokers, according to a recent study.
The analysis may help "identify individuals in need of additional resources and assist in efforts to more effectively target the next generation of tobacco control strategies," say authors led by Lila J. Finney Rutten of the National Cancer Institute.
The study, in the current issue of American Journal of Health Behavior, found those who had never smoked and sustained quitters - those who had not smoked for at least a year - were more likely to have health insurance and a usual source of care than current smokers. They were also more likely to have seen a health-care provider within the last 12 months and reported higher levels of trust in the information they received.
In addition, nonsmokers reported better health and fewer symptoms of depression than current smokers. "Active depressive symptoms may impact individualsâ€™ willingness [or] ability to be effectively engaged in their health care," say the authors. "Our results suggest that additional efforts to identify and follow up with smokers experiencing depression may be especially needed."
The authors analyzed data from the 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey. These nationally representative data are collected every 2 years to assess the publicâ€™s need for, access to and use of cancer-related information. The study comprised 1,246 current smokers, 1,502 sustained quitters and 3,277 people who had never smoked.
"Taken as a whole, these results point to a constellation of individual and system factors that may impact smokersâ€™ ability to successfully sustain smoking cessation," say the authors.
Smoking kills more people each year than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.