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Widening social inequalities in smoking cessation in Spain, 1987–1997
  1. E Fernandez,
  2. A Schiaffino,
  3. M García,
  4. J M Borràs
  1. Institut Català d'Oncologia, L'Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain
  1. Dr Fernandez, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Servei de Prevenció i Control del Càncer, Av Gran Via s/n Km 2,7, 08907 L'Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain (efernandez{at}

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In southern Europe, the prevalence of smoking among women has been lower than in northern Europe, with a wider gender and socioeconomic gap compared with most other developed countries. In Spain, a decline in the prevalence of smoking in men has been observed during the past 10 years, while in women the smoking prevalence has increased in the middle age group (16–44 years old) and in higher socioeconomic levels. Smoking cessation has increased slightly,1 but no assessment of the trends in smoking cessation in Spain by gender and socioeconomic level has been reported. The aim of this study was to analyse the pattern of smoking cessation according to gender and education, using data from the four National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) conducted between 1987 and 1997.


Data were obtained from the Spanish NHISs conducted in 1987, 1993, 1995, and 1997 among the non-institutionalised population by means of personal interviews. Sample sizes of the surveys were 27 756 subjects in 1987; 21 120 in 1993; and 6400 both in 1995 and 1997. Non-response rates ranged from 10% in 1987 to 15% in 1997. In the four surveys, a multistage random sampling strategy with stratification was used.

The same questionnaire was used …

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  • Funding: this work was partially funded by the Fondo de Investiación Sanitaria (FIS) (Contract no 00/0695).

  • Conflicts of interest: none.