Smoking cessation practices in Armenia and Georgia
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Turpanjian School of Public Health, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
National Institute of Health named after academician S. Avdalbekyan, Yerevan, Armenia
National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, Tbilisi, Georgia
Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, United States
Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, United States
Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, United States
George Washington Cancer Center, George Washington University, Washington, United States
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A51
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Background and Objectives:
Smoking is a significant public health concern in Armenia and Georgia, with high smoking prevalence (51.5% and 59.2% in men, 1.8% and 7.3% in women, respectively). The study aimed to explore the smoking characteristics and quitting practices among the general population in Armenia and Georgia.

In 2018, an interviewer-administered survey was conducted in 28 communities in Armenia and Georgia using random and multi-stage cluster sampling, respectively. An adult respondent in each household was identified using KISH method. The study instrument included questions on smoking characteristics and quitting practices including readiness, importance and confidence in quitting.

Overall, 1456 adults from Armenia (n=705) and Georgia (n=751) participated in the survey with mean age 43.4±13.5 years. The majority were non-smokers (72.7%) and female (60.5%). About one-third of respondents (32.9%; n=479) smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, and the vast majority (83.1%; n=398) were current smokers. The smoking prevalence among the male population in both countries was relatively high (63.8% and 64.1% in Armenia and Georgia, respectively). More than half of the smoker respondents (56.3%) reported a quit attempt for one day or longer and significantly higher proportion of smokers in Armenia reported a quit attempt (74.1% vs 46.5%; p<0.001). Likewise, a higher proportion of smokers in Armenia were ready to quit in the next six months (21.7% vs 13.7%; p=0.080). Overall, the study participants in both countries reported greater importance of quitting (mean; 5.34±5.74) than confidence (mean: 4.79±3.18). The importance mean score was significantly higher in Armenia (6.47 vs 5.33; p<0.001).

Many smokers in both countries recognized the importance of quitting; however, many were not confident in their ability to quit. The study findings support the urgent need for implementing targeted interventions and strengthening the smoking cessation infrastructure to increase the quitting rates.

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