Socioeconomic class in smoking cessation groups- who perseveres?
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Meuhedet Health Care, Tel Aviv, Israel
Submission date: 2017-04-27
Acceptance date: 2017-04-28
Publication date: 2017-05-25
Corresponding author
Shosh Karni   

Meuhedet Health Care, 124 Ibn Gavirol St., 620384 Tel Aviv, Israel
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2017;3(May Supplement):52
Meuhedet offers smoking cessation groups throughout Israel. Participants receive subsidized medication only if they participate in these groups. The aim of this study was to examine attendance in smoking cessation groups and whether it is related to socioeconomic class.

Material and Methods:
We analyzed all participants in groups over the years 2013-2016. Participation was defined as very low (attended less than 25% of sessions), low (26-50%), medium, (51-75%) and high (over 75% of sessions). Socioeconomic class (SES) was defined using participants' home address, according to the Israeli Bureau of Statistics definitions of social class, and we divided these into 3 categories- low, medium and high.

Between 2013 and 2016, 10,782 members participated in smoking cessation groups. Of these we had SES information for 88%. 35% of participants were in the low SES category, 52% in the medium category and 13% in the high category. Attendance was higher in the lower SES group, with 35% of those in the low SES category attending 75% and over of sessions compared with 27.6% of those in the high SES category.

One quarter of participants in smoking cessation groups only attend 1 or 2 sessions. This may be partly due to the requirement of enrollment in the groups to obtain subsidized medication, but SES was not associated with the decision to drop out. People in the lower SES category were more likely to attend more sessions, possibly because they have less sources of support and information.

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