Predictors of persistent smoking and quitting among
Rob McGeea,*, Sheila Williamsb
aSocial and Behavioral Research in Cancer Group, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago,
Box 913, Dunedin, NZ, New Zealand
bDepartment of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand
This study examined predictors of persistent tobacco smoking and smoking cessation in a longitudinal study of
women’s health. The sample consisted of 575 women, with an average age of 34 years at baseline. Follow-up
occurred some 13 years later. Two models of smoking behavior were examined, the first identifying correlates of
daily smoking at baseline and the second identifying predictors of subsequent quitting at follow-up among those
smoking at baseline. Poor maternal education, being young at birth of first child, high level of anxiety, having a
partner who smoked, and high tea/coffee consumption were all associated with smoking at baseline. Being a young
mother and number of cigarettes smoked at baseline predicted subsequent persistent smoking while high levels of
anxiety significantly predicted subsequent quitting.
D 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Tobacco smoking; Cessation; Predictors
An understanding of factors predicting sustained tobacco use and cessation may be useful in
developing public health actions to reduce smoking. Smoking cessation has been related to variables
including higher socioeconomic status (Gilman, Abrams, & Buka, 2003); lower alcohol intake and
antidepressant medication (Pomerlau, Zucker, & Stewart, 2003); partner support for quitting (Roski,
Schmid, & Lando, 1996); and lower dependence (Ferguson et al., 2003). Much research on cessation has
0306-4603/$ - see front matter D 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +64 3 4797243; fax: +64 3 4797298.
E-mail? address:? firstname.lastname@example.org? (R.? McGee).
Addictive Behaviors 31 (2006) 1711–1715