Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Reduced probability of smoking cessation in men with increasing number of job losses and partnership breakdowns
  1. M Kriegbaum1,
  2. A M Larsen1,
  3. U Christensen1,
  4. R Lund1,
  5. M Osler1,2
  1. 1Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Margit Kriegbaum, Institute of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Postboks 2099, København K, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark; makr{at}


Background Unemployment and partnership breakdowns are common stressful life events, but their association with smoking cessation has been investigated in only a few studies.

Objective To investigate how history of employment and cohabitation affects the probability of smoking cessation and to study joint exposure to both.

Methods Birth cohort study of smoking cessation of 6232 Danish men born in 1953 with a follow-up at age 51 (response rate 66.2%). History of unemployment and cohabitation was measured annually using register data. Information on smoking cessation was obtained by a questionnaire.

Results The probability of smoking cessation decreased with the number of job losses (ranging from 1 OR 0.54 (95% CI 0.46 to 0.64) to 3+ OR 0.41 (95% CI 0.30 to 0.55)) and of broken partnerships (ranging from 1 OR 0.74 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.85) to 3+ OR 0.50 (95% CI 0.39 to 0.63)). Furthermore, smoking cessation was associated with the duration of the periods of unemployment (ranging from 1–5 years (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.85) to 10–23 years (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.38)) and with living without a partner for >5 years (ranging from 6–9 years to 10–23 years (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.97) to 10–23 years (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.52)). Those who never cohabited and experienced one or more job losses had a particular low chance of smoking cessation (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.30).

Conclusion The numbers of job losses and of broken partnerships were both inversely associated with probability of smoking cessation.

  • Unemployment
  • marital status
  • smoking cessation
  • life-course
  • employed
  • longitudinal studies
  • social epidemiology

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding The study was funded bythe Danish Medical Research Council, Bredgade 40, 1260 København K, Denmark; the Danish Health Insurance Fund, Magstræde 6, 1. sal, 1204 København K, Denmark; Wedell-Wedellsborg Foundation, Holmens Kanal 2, 1060 København K, Denmark; and Krista and Viggo Petersen Foundation, c/o Advokat T. Ingemann-Hansen, Amaliegade 42, 1256 København K, Denmark.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Danish Data Protection Agency.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.