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Free Content Reasons for failure to quit: a cross-sectional survey of tobacco use in major cities in Pakistan

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BACKGROUND: Tobacco dependence has been defined as a chronic relapsing disease. Around 5 million annual tobacco-related deaths have been reported worldwide. The majority of smokers want to quit but are not successful.

OBJECTIVES: To screen our population for tobacco use, gauge the baseline demographics of tobacco users and assess factors associated with failed attempts to quit.

METHODS: Free health camps supervised by a physician were held across two major cities of Pakistan. All consenting participants were administered a questionnaire and had their exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) levels measured.

RESULTS: Of 12 969 participants successfully enrolled, the mean age was 31.4 ± 10.0 years. More than three quarters were aged 20–40 years (n = 10 168, 78.4%). The overall average CO level was 12.0 ± 8.0 ppm. The majority of the participants wanted to quit, and nearly everyone had received advice about quitting. The majority had tried smoking cessation pharmacotherapy. Friends/peer pressure (n = 1554, 12%), anxiety (n = 681, 5.3%), tobacco dependence (n = 1965, 15.2%) and stress/mood changes (n = 390, 3.0%) were the most widely observed reasons for failure to quit in study participants.

CONCLUSION: The information provided by this study can guide the development of more targeted intervention programmes for smokers who wish to quit.
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Keywords: failure to quit; smokeless tobacco; smoking cessation; smoking prevalence; tobacco cessation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan 2: Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Higher Kingston, Yeovil, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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