STUDY OBJECTIVES: To analyse the factors that determined whether or not people were successful in quitting tobacco during the 1980s in Sweden. DESIGN: A logistic regression model was used for the analyses and included: education, marital status, socioeconomic group, social network, physical activities, cigarette consumption, and years spent smoking as independent variables. Men and women were analysed separately for smoking. A specific univariate analysis was also performed for men who used snuff. SETTING: Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: A panel of 5104 randomised people aged 16-84 years was interviewed in 1980-81 and followed up in 1988-89 in the survey of living conditions undertaken by Statistics Sweden. The participation rate was 86%. The panel included 1546 men and women who were daily smokers. There were 418 daily users of snuff among the men, and 129 men both smoked and used snuff. MAIN RESULTS: Together 26% of women and 23% of men had quit smoking. Five percent in both groups were new smokers. Among men, 26% had quit using snuff and 5% had begun smoking. New snuff users among men were 5%. In the multivariate analysis, unmarried men kept smoking at significantly higher rates (OR 2.1; 95% CI 1.2,3.6), as did those men who smoked 11-20 cigarettes/day (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.5, 3.4), or more than 20 cigarettes/day (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.4,5.7). Among women, smoking 11-20 cigarettes/day was also a significant factor (OR 3.3; 95% CI 2.1,5.0). Men and women aged 25-44 were significantly more likely to continue smoking (OR = 2.1; 95% CI 1.1,3.7, and 2.2; 95% CI 1.2,4.4) as were those who had smoked for 20 years or more (OR 4.7; 95% CI 2.0,10.8 and OR 2.5; 95% CI 1.1,5.5, respectively). For women, low education (up to grade 9) was also a significant factor (OR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.2,5.1). Among men who had quit using snuff we did not find any values of significance. CONCLUSIONS: One in four smokers had quit during the 1980s and a few started smoking (5%). Some men quit smoking and started using snuff instead. For both sexes, the daily consumption of cigarettes, years spent smoking, and age were the most important determinants of successful quitting. In men, being married/ cohabiting was an important factor as was higher education in women.
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