BMC Public Health
Many studies have examined the socioeconomic variations in smoking and quitting rates across the European region; however, data from Central and East European countries, where the tobacco burden is especially high, are sparse. This study aimed to assess the patterns in current and past smoking prevalence based on cross-sectional data from a Central European urban population sample.
Data from 2160 respondents aged 25–64 years in Brno, Czech Republic were collected in 2013–2014 using the
Czech post-MONICA survey questionnaire to assess the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, including smoking status. The age- and sex-stratified randomized sample was drawn using health insurance registries. Descriptive statistics and quit ratios were calculated, and chi-square and multivariate logistic analyses conducted to examine relationships between current and past smoking and demographic (age, gender, marital status) and socioeconomic variables (education, income, occupation).
The prevalence of current and past smoking was 23.6 and 31.3 % among men and 20.5 and 23.2 % among women, respectively. Education reliably predicted smoking and quitting rates in both genders. Among men, being unemployed was associated with greater odds of smoking (OR 3.6; 1.6–8.1) and lower likelihood of quitting (OR 0.2: 0.1–0.6); the likelihood of quitting also increased with age (OR 1.8; 1.2–2.8). Among women, marital
status (being married) decreased the odds of current smoking (OR 0.6; 0.4–0.9) and increased the odds of quitting (OR 2.2; 1.2–3.9). Quit ratios were the lowest in the youngest age group (25–34 years) where quitting was more strongly associated with middle income (OR 2.7; 95 % CI 1.2–5.9) than with higher education (OR 2.9; 95 % CI 0.9–8.2).
Interventions to increase cessation rates and reduce smoking prevalence need to be gender-specific and carefully tailored to the needs of the disadvantaged groups of the population, especially the less well-off young adults.
Future studies should examine the equity impact of the tobacco control policies and be inclusive of the Central and East European countries.