A cross sectional survey of smoking characteristics and quitting behaviour from a sample of homeless adults in Great Britain

Journal article


Cox, S, Dawkins, L, Ford, A, Bauld, L, Balaban, S and Tyler, A (2019). A cross sectional survey of smoking characteristics and quitting behaviour from a sample of homeless adults in Great Britain. Addictive Behaviors. 95 (2019), pp. 35-40.
AuthorsCox, S, Dawkins, L, Ford, A, Bauld, L, Balaban, S and Tyler, A
Abstract

Background: Smoking is a key contributor to health and social inequalities and homeless smoking prevalence rates are 4 times higher than the general population. Research on homelessness and smoking to date has been concentrated predominantly in the US and Australia. This study aimed to describe smoking and quitting behaviour in homeless adult smokers in Great Britain. Data on perceptions of, and willingness to try, e-cigarettes were also gathered.
Methods: Cross sectional survey of 283 adult smokers accessing homeless support services in Kent, the Midlands, London and Edinburgh. Participants answered a four-part survey: i) demographics; ii) current smoking behaviour and dependence (including the Fagerström Test of Cigarette Dependence [FTCD]); iii) previous quit attempts; and iv) e-cigarettes perceptions.
Results: High levels of cigarette dependence were observed (FTCD: M=7.78, sd+0.98). Although desire to quit was high, most had made fewer than 5 quit attempts and 90% of these lasted less than 24 hours. 91.5% reported that others around them also smoked. Previous quit methods used included cold turkey (29.7%), NRT (24.7%), varenicline (22.3%) and bupropion (14.5%). 34% were willing or able to spend £20 or more for an e-cigarette and 82% had tried one in the past although 54% reported that they preferred smoking.
Conclusion: We observed high nicotine dependence, few long-term quit attempts, strong desire to quit and amenability to both traditional cessation methods and e-cigarettes. Community embedded and non-routine approaches to cessation may be promising avenues promoting engagement with the homeless community. Likely barriers to uptake include low affordability, preference for cigarettes and high numbers of smoking acquaintances.

Keywordstobacco; smoking; homeless; e-cigarettes; inequalities
Year2019
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Journal citation95 (2019), pp. 35-40
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1873-6327
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.02.020
Web address (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306460318312632?via%3Dihub
Publication dates
Print22 Feb 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Feb 2019
Accepted21 Feb 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8678v

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