Use of aids for smoking cessation and alcohol reduction: a population survey of adults in England

Beard, E., Brown, J., Michie, S., Kaner, E., Meier, P. and West, R. (2016) Use of aids for smoking cessation and alcohol reduction: a population survey of adults in England. BMC Public Health, 16, 1237. (doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3862-7) (PMID:27931202) (PMCID:PMC5146832)

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Abstract

Background: It is important for policy planning to chart the methods smokers and high-risk drinkers use to help them change their behaviour. This study assessed prevalence of use, and characteristics of users, of support for smoking cessation and alcohol reduction in England. Methods: Data were used from the Smoking and Alcohol Toolkit Studies, which involve monthly face-to-face computer-assisted interviews of adults aged 16+ in England. We included data collected between June 2014 and July 2015 on 1600 smokers who had made at least one quit attempt and 911 high-risk drinkers (defined as scores >8+ on the full AUDIT or 5+ on questions 1–3 of the AUDIT-C) who had made an attempt to cut down in the past 12 months. Participants provided information on their socio-demographic characteristics and use of aids during their most recent quit attempt including pharmacotherapy, face-to-face counselling, telephone support, self-help materials (digital and printed), and complementary medicine. Results: A total of 60.3% of smokers used aids in the past year, compared with just 14.9% of high-risk drinkers. Use of pharmacotherapy was high among smokers and very low among drinkers (56.0%versus1.2%). Use of other aids was low for both behaviours: face-to-face counselling (2.6%versus4.8%), self-help materials (1.4%versus4.1%) and complementary medicine (1.0%versus0.5%). Use of aids was more common among smokers aged 25–54 compared with 16–24 year olds (25–34,ORadj1.49,p = 0.012; 35–44,ORadj1.93,p < 0.001; 35–44,ORadj1.93,p < 0.001; 45–54,ORadj1.66,p = 0.008), with cigarette consumption >10 relative to <1 (10–20,ORadj2.47,p = 0.011; >20,ORadj4.23,p = 0.001), and less common among ethnic minorities (ORadj0.69,p = 0.026). For alcohol reduction, use of aids was higher among ethnic minority groups (ORadj2.41;p = 0.015), and those of social-grade D/E relative to AB (ORadj2.29,p = 0.012&ORadj3.13,p < 0.001). Conclusion: In England, the use of pharmacotherapy is prevalent for smoking cessation but not alcohol reduction. Other aids are used at a low rate, with face-to-face counselling being more common for alcohol reduction than smoking cessation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Meier, Professor Petra
Authors: Beard, E., Brown, J., Michie, S., Kaner, E., Meier, P., and West, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
ISSN (Online):1471-2458
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Public Health 16: 1237
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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