What can motivate smokers to quit? Results from Russian Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Survey
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National Medical Research Centre for Preventive Medicine of MoH Russian Federation, Russian Federation
National Medical Research Centre for Preventive Medicine, Russian Federation
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(Supplement):A15
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The Russian State Tobacco Control policy aims at decreasing the prevalence of smokers by means of preventing taking up smoking and motivating smokers to quit. The aim of this study is to analyse the quitting intentions of smokers under the Russian tobacco control law and factors that could motivate them to quit.

Cross-sectional data from Russian Tobacco Control Law Evaluation Survey (2017-2018) are analysed, based on multistage random national representative sample of 11625 adult respondents, stratified by smoking status: 6569 smokers, 2377 former smokers, 2679 never smokers, in 10 Russian Federal subjects, interviewed with questionnaire comparable with the one of ITC Project. Data are compared with the results of ‘EURESTPLUS ITC Europe Surveys’.

Significant majority of smokers (56.6%) had signs of high tobacco dependence and 81.4% of smokers considered themselves dependent on tobacco. 50,9% of the smokers were convinced that quitting smoking is difficult or very difficult, only 14.0% had clear intentions to quit, 51.9% - were somewhat willing and 34.1% - had no willingness to quit. Accordingly, only 7.3% were planning to quit within one month, and 13.9% - within 6 months, which was lower than in England and the same/lower than in the Netherlands, but higher than in other 6 countries. 32.4% of smokers had planned to quit sometime beyond six months, and 46.4% - had no quitting plans at all. Similarly, this was higher than in England and the Netherlands, the same as in Romania, and lower than in the rest of the countries. The most powerful potential stimuli for quitting smoking were the concern for personal health (for 52.4% somewhat and 36.3% very much important) and being told of having a smoking related illness: (39.6% and 42.2% respectively). Those were followed by reasons for family values, like the influence of family and friends (49% and 25.2%), setting an example for children (45.2% and 28.4%), planning or expecting a child (33.5% and 36.3%) and concerns about the health of the others (51.6% and 17.4%). From the legislative measures most of all could motivate smokers to quit prices of cigarettes (41.5% somewhat and 22.4% very much). Doctor’s advice to quit could motivate about 52% of the smokers, possible availability of medication as well as restrictions at work and societal disapproval – about 48% of smokers. The least number smokers would be impressed by availability of quitlines and warning labels on cigarette packages (32.1% and 35.9% respectively).

General intention to quit among smokers in Russia is still low, and for the majority of smokers having smoking related diseases is the most powerful motivational factor to quit. Data should be used to better shape Russian Tobacco control policy interventions.

Our research was provided by the Ministry of Health of Russian Federation.
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