Intentions to Quit Tobacco Smoking in 14 Low- and Middle-Income Countries Based on the Transtheoretical Model*

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Introduction: Over 80% of the world’s one billion tobacco smokers reside in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); therefore, it is important to understand factors that promote intention to quit smoking in these countries. This study evaluated factors associated with three stages of intention to quit tobacco smoking among adults in LMICs.

Methods: Data from 43,540 participants of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in 14 LMICs were analyzed. Intentions to quit smoking were categorized into precontemplation (referent category), contemplation, and preparation stages based on the transtheoretical model. A multinomial logit model was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: Approximately 82%, 14%, and 4% of the smokers were in precontemplation, contemplation, and preparation stages, respectively. Rural residents had increased odds of being in contemplation stage (OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.09–1.83) compared to urban residents. Compared to homes where smoking was allowed, smoke-free homes were associated with increased odds of contemplation (OR = 1.77, 95% CI = 1.41–2.23) and preparation (OR = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.78–2.66). Exposure to anti-smoking messages in more than one media channel was associated with increased odds of contemplation (OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.33–1.92) and preparation (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.28–2.33) compared to no exposure to anti-smoking messages.

Conclusion: The results suggest that anti-smoking media campaigns and smoke-free policies may promote intention to quit smoking in LMICs. While these suggest the need for implementation of comprehensive anti-smoking campaigns and smoke-free policies, longitudinal studies are required to confirm these findings and to evaluate how intention to quit translates into quit attempts in LMICs.

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