Three in five quitters still smoke-free after a month

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When do you most want to smoke? graph of japanese statisticsWith the rise in cigarette prices of approximately 100 yen per pack of twenty, adding roughly a third onto the price of the average brand, many smokers took this as an opportunity to quit. This recent survey from Macromill Research doesn’t look at what percentage quit, but instead focuses on how the quitters are coping.

Demographics

Over the 1st and 2nd of November 2010 500 members of the Macromill monitor group who had resolved to stop smoking following the tobacco price rise in October completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 68.4% were male, 12.8% in their twenties, 33.2% in their thirties, 31.8% in their forties, and 22.2% aged fifty or older.

I suppose it’s a good sign that at least some people are quitting, although looking at Q1 and from tales from smokers, relapses can happen at unexpected times, so after a month free from smoking one cannot really say one has kicked the habit. Furthermore, with the end of year party season coming up, thus placing the quitters around people smoking and around drink, the second and third greatest temptations according to Q3SQ1, the risk of relapse will be pretty high, I fear.

Research results

Q1: Including this time, how many times have you tried to stop smoking? (Sample size=500)

First time31.6%
Twice25.6%
Thrice18.8%
Four times5.4%
Five times5.4%
Six times0.4%
Seven times0.8%
Eight times0.2%
Nine times0.0%
Ten or more times4.8%
Don’t know7.0%

Q2: Why did you think you ought to quit in October? (Sample size=500, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=342
Female
N=158
Large price rise92.4%92.7%91.8%
For health50.0%49.7%50.6%
Number of smokers around me had decreased26.6%26.3%27.2%
Family, partner recommended I quit24.8%25.7%22.8%
Smoking areas were decreasing22.2%23.7%19.0%
For beauty reasons11.4%2.3%31.0%
Friends, colleagues recommended I quit5.6%6.1%4.4%
On doctor’s instructions4.0%5.6%2.5%
Because I had a child2.8%2.6%3.2%
Work recommended I quit2.0%2.3%1.3%
Other7.0%5.8%9.5%

Interestingly, the decrease in smoking spaces only affected an eighth of those in their twenties but increasing with age up to a third of those in their fifties.

Q3: Are you still tobacco free? (Sample size=500)

 AllMale
N=342
Female
N=158
Yes, not smoked at all (to SQ2 onwards)62.2%60.5%65.8%
Smoked a few, but still trying to quit (to SQ1 onwards)17.6%15.5%22.2%
No, quit quitting (to SQ1)20.2%24.0%12.0%

More older people had fallen off the wagon, with 24.3% of the over-fifties back to their old habit. However, although almost the same percentage of two packs a day or more people had restarted, 73.1% had managed to quit completely. Those with spouses or other family members who smoked were also more less than average to have managed to resist temptation.

For those who had given in to temptation, 1.1% didn’t manage a day, 4.8% two days, 10.6% three days, and 24.3% four days.

Q3SQ1: What situations found you gasping for a cigarette? (Sample size=189, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=135
Female
N=54
When annoyed43.4%45.2%38.9%
When someone beside me was smoking30.2%31.1%27.8%
When drunk15.3%14.8%16.7%
When I came across some cigarettes I’d bought before11.1%7.4%20.4%
Unconsciously started smoking10.1%11.9%5.6%
Fell into the habit of having a cigarette on waking6.9%6.7%7.4%
When driving, stuck in a traffic jam3.2%4.4%0.0%
Other10.6%9.6%13.0%

Q3SQ2: What do you do to keep yourself from smoking? (Sample size=399, multiple answer)

 AllMale
N=260
Female
N=139
Suck on a sweet, chew gum to keep my mouth busy47.6%46.5%49.6%
Drink lots of water13.8%13.5%14.4%
Use electronic cigarettes11.5%13.1%8.6%
Getting treatment from hospital7.8%8.8%5.8%
Use a quit smoking pipe6.3%6.2%6.5%
Use a nicotine patch5.3%6.2%3.6%
Use nicotine gum5.0%5.8%3.6%
Attend quit smoking therapy, lectures0.5%0.8%0.0%
Other3.3%2.7%4.3%
Don’t do anything36.3%37.3%34.5%

Q3SQ3: How much have you spent on items related to quitting smoking in the last month? (Sample size=399)

 AllMale
N=260
Female
N=139
Under 500 yen1.3%1.2%1.4%
500 to 999 yen4.0%3.8%4.3%
1,000 to 1,999 yen13.0%11.2%16.5%
2,000 to 2,999 yen5.5%5.0%6.5%
3,000 to 3,999 yen11.8%10.4%14.4%
4,000 to 5,999 yen1.0%1.2%0.7%
5,000 to 9,999 yen14.3%16.5%10.1%
10,000 yen or more6.0%6.5%5.0%
Nothing43.1%44.2%41.0%

The average spend was 2,188 yen; men spent 2,311 yen, women 1,959 yen.

Q3SQ4: Are you confident that you can continue to be smoke free? (Sample size=399)

 AllMale
N=260
Female
N=139
Yes57.9%61.2%51.8%
Perhaps33.8%31.5%38.1%
Perhaps not6.8%5.4%9.4%
No1.5%1.9%0.7%

Q4: When you weren’t smoking, what did you think was/is the time you most want to smoke? (Sample size=500)

 AllMale
N=342
Female
N=158
When annoyed21.6%19.6%25.9%
After a meal20.8%20.5%21.5%
When drinking alcohol19.4%20.2%17.7%
When I have free time12.8%12.9%12.7%
While working4.4%5.8%1.3%
When driving3.4%4.4%1.3%
When drinking coffee3.0%2.3%4.4%
When chatting1.4%0.9%2.5%
Other9.0%9.9%7.0%

Those who had fallen off the wagon found after meals the hardest time. but those still resisting (or mostly resisting) find when annoyed or when drinking the most tempting.

Finally, there was a couple of demographic tables comparing those who continue to try to stop versus those who had given up.

D1: Sex versus non-smoking or relapsed. (Sample size=500)

 MaleFemale
All68.4%31.6%
Non-smokers
N=399
65.2%34.8%
Relapsed smokers
N=101
81.2%18.8%

D2: Age versus non-smoking or relapsed. (Sample size=500)

 TwentiesThirtiesFortiesFifty or older
All12.8%33.2%31.8%22.2%
Non-smokers
N=399
13.5%34.3%31.1%21.1%
Relapsed smokers
N=101
9.9%28.7%34.7%26.7%

D3: Smoking history versus non-smoking or relapsed. (Sample size=500)

 Less than 5 years5 to 10 yearsMore than 10 years
All11.6%9.4%79.0%
Non-smokers
N=399
11.8%10.8%77.4%
Relapsed smokers
N=101
10.9%4.0%85.1%

D4: Daily smokes versus non-smoking or relapsed. (Sample size=500)

 Less than 2020 to 3940 or more
All49.0%45.8%5.2%
Non-smokers
N=399
49.6%45.4%5.0%
Relapsed smokers
N=101
46.5%47.5%5.9%
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  1. November 30, 2010 @ 00:25

    […] looking at if people who quit stayed smoke-free due to the recent massive tax hike, here we have iShare looking at the overall population to see […]