Less Affluent Smokers More Likely To Quit Smoking through Interactive Websites, Study


Poor people are 36 percent more likely to quit smoking if they used the new interactive website called 'StopAdvisor' than any other normal information sites, according to a University College London study.

StopAdvisor was designed with the intent to focus on less affluent smokers by conducting user-testing exclusively with these smokers. The website aims to impersonate the successful support offered by the expert stop-smoking advisors in the NHS.

"Going to see a specialist stop-smoking advisor of the kind that is provided free of charge and easily accessible through one's GP or the NHS SmokeFree website remains the best way of stopping smoking," said lead author Dr Jamie Brown of UCL's Department of Epidemiology & Public Health in a press release. "But for the many smokers who do not want to do this, StopAdvisor should improve their chances of success."

Among 4,613 smokers participated in the study, of which 2,142 had never worked and were categorised into a 'lower income' group.

The researchers found that less affluent smokers were 8.3 percent more successful in quitting their smoking habit when they used "StopAdvisor" as compared to 6.1 percent through the static website. On the other hand, affluent smokers were 12 percent more likely to abandon the habit if they used either website.

"StopAdvisor could have an important impact on public health," said senior author Professor Robert West of UCL's Department of Epidemiology & Public Health. "An effect of as little as 1% on six-month sustained abstinence rates would result in at least 3 additional years of life for every hundred 40-year-old smokers who use the resource."

"Smoking causes half of the difference in life expectancy between richest and poorest. That is why StopAdvisor is so important: it gives Public Health England a way of helping more smokers quit more effectively while also reducing unacceptable levels of health inequality," Martin Dockrell, Tobacco Control Programme Lead, Public Health England, said.

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