Almost daily smokers: a specific phenomenon or a distinct phase
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ADIC, Ukraine
Publish date: 2018-06-13
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2018;4(Supplement):A125
The phenomenon of light and intermittent smoking is still under debate as the one which can be a specific smoking pattern or a transitional phase to a more established tobacco use. Up to date, most of the related studies originate from the US. We explore characteristics of 'almost daily' smokers in Ukraine.

Material and Methods:
The analysis is based on the data of the survey which explored quitting needs and histories in a nationally representative sample of 1400 Ukrainian smokers. For about half of the survey time, only 'daily smokers' were recruited. Later on, the invitation to participate was addressed to 'daily or almost daily' smokers. We explore the difference between the two subsamples to characterize the group of intermittent smokers.

Among both men and women, intermittent smokers were less dependent on nicotine as they responded that they do not typically smoke within one hour after wake-up; for future quit attempts, they more likely planned unassisted quitting. Among men, 'almost daily smokers' more likely responded about their willingness to use self-help materials, email-based quitting means and quitlines in their future quit attempts. Among women, 'almost daily smokers' more likely were younger than 25 and without access to modern communication means. They reported past abstinence periods of months and years, expressed willingness to quit but not in the near future and less likely planned to use medicines or other suggested means.

Our findings are consistent with those characterizing light and intermittent smokers as less dependent, less suffering withdrawal and easier quitting; however, demographic characteristics of intermittent smokers differ from study to study. A certain part of light smokers, particularly young women, might be in transition towards established dependent smoking while others might represent a specific pattern of tobacco use, and this group of smokers requires additional inquiry.