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Free Content Timing and risk factors associated with relapse among smokers attempting to quit in Malaysia

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BACKGROUND: Many smokers attempt to quit smoking, but very few succeed.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the timing and risk factors involved in smoking relapse.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study among staff in two public universities in Malaysia. Behavioural therapy with free nicotine replacement therapy was given as treatment. Participants were followed up for 6 months. Relapse was defined as returning to smoking after having quit for at least 24 h.

RESULTS: Of 185 smokers who volunteered to participate, 120 achieved at least 24-h abstinence, and 80% of these relapsed within 2 months. Compared to participants who attended a single smoking cessation session, participants who attended three sessions had a lower likelihood of relapse within 6 months of quitting. In contrast, smokers with a much longer exposure to cigarette smoking in the workplace (>3 h per week) had a greater chance of relapse compared to those with no exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: Frequent attendance at clinic sessions and less exposure to other people smoking in the workplace can potentially reduce the likelihood of relapse among smokers who have recently quit.
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Keywords: Malaysian; environment; smoking cessation; smoking relapse; worksite

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Medicine, Population Health and Preventive Medicine, Mara University of Technology, Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia; Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2: Julius Centre University of Malaya, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 3: Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 4: Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore City, Republic of Singapore; PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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