The effect of tobacco control policy on smoking cessation in relation to gender, age and education in Lithuania, 1994-2010

Klumbiene J, Sakyte E, Petkeviciene J, Prattala R, Kunst AE.

BMC Public Health. 2015 Feb 25;15:181

Background

This study aimed to evaluate the association between tobacco control policies and trends in smoking cessation according to gender, age and educational level in Lithuania in 1994–2010.

Methods

The data were obtained from nine cross-sectional postal surveys conducted biennially within the framework of Finbalt Health Monitor project during 1994–2010. Each survey was based on a nationally representative random sample drawn from the National population register. The sample consisted of 3000 citizens aged 20–64 in 1994–2008 surveys and 4000 in the 2010 survey. In total, 17161 individuals participated in all surveys. The development of tobacco control policy in Lithuania was assessed using the Tobacco Control Scale (TCS). The association of the TCS scores with short-term and long-term quitting according to gender, age and education was examined using logistic regression analysis with control for secular trends.

Results

Over the last two decades, a large improvement in the development of tobacco control policy has been achieved in Lithuania. At the same time, this progress was associated with the increase in smoking cessation. A significant increase in both short-term and long-term quit ratios was found among people aged 20–44. An increase by 10 points on the TCS was associated with 17% increase in the odds of short-term quitting and with 15% increase in the odds of long-term quitting. The association between tobacco control policies and long-term quitting was stronger among younger than older people. No differential effect of tobacco control policies on smoking cessation was found in relation to gender and educational level.

Conclusions

The improvement in Lithuanian tobacco control policies was associated with an increase in smoking cessation in long-term perspective. These policies have not only benefitted highly educated groups, but lower educated groups as well. Nonetheless, further development of comprehensive tobacco control policies is needed in order to decrease social inequalities in smoking cessation.

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