Smoking after the age of 65 years: a qualitative exploration of older current and former smokers' views on smoking, stopped smoking, and smoking cessation resources and services

Susan M. Kerr, Hazel Watson, Debbie Tolson, Murray Lough, Malcolm Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore older current/former smokers’ views on smoking, stopping smoking, and smoking cessation resources and services. Despite the fact that older smokers have been identified as a priority group, there is currently a dearth of age-related smoking cessation research to guide practice. The study adopted a qualitative approach and used the health belief model as a conceptual framework. Twenty current and former smokers aged = 65 years were recruited through general practices and a forum for older adults in the West of Scotland. Data were collected using a semistructured interview schedule. The audio-taped interviews were transcribed and then analysed using content analysis procedures. Current smokers reported many positive associations with smoking, which often prevented a smoking cessation attempt. The majority were aware that smoking had damaged their health; however, some were not convinced of the association. A common view was that ‘the damage was done’, and therefore, there was little point in attempting to stop smoking. When suggesting a cessation attempt, while some health professionals provided good levels of support, others were reported as providing very little. Some of the participants reported that they had never been advised to stop smoking. Knowledge of local smoking cessation services was generally poor. Finally, concern was voiced regarding the perceived health risks of using nicotine replacement therapy. The main reasons why the former smokers had stopped smoking were health-related. Many had received little help and support from health professionals when attempting to stop smoking. Most of the former smokers believed that stopping smoking in later life had been beneficial to their health. In conclusion, members of the primary care team have a key role to play in encouraging older people to stop smoking. In order to function effectively, it is essential that they take account of older smokers’ health beliefs and that issues, such as knowledge of smoking cessation resources, are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006

Fingerprint

Smoking Cessation
smoking
Smoking
resources
Health
health
Interviews
health professionals
Scotland
Nicotine
General Practice
Primary Health Care
Appointments and Schedules
analysis procedure
interview
health risk
nicotine
content analysis
damages

Keywords

  • community nursing
  • smoking
  • smoking cessation

Cite this

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title = "Smoking after the age of 65 years: a qualitative exploration of older current and former smokers' views on smoking, stopped smoking, and smoking cessation resources and services",
abstract = "The aim of this study was to explore older current/former smokers’ views on smoking, stopping smoking, and smoking cessation resources and services. Despite the fact that older smokers have been identified as a priority group, there is currently a dearth of age-related smoking cessation research to guide practice. The study adopted a qualitative approach and used the health belief model as a conceptual framework. Twenty current and former smokers aged = 65 years were recruited through general practices and a forum for older adults in the West of Scotland. Data were collected using a semistructured interview schedule. The audio-taped interviews were transcribed and then analysed using content analysis procedures. Current smokers reported many positive associations with smoking, which often prevented a smoking cessation attempt. The majority were aware that smoking had damaged their health; however, some were not convinced of the association. A common view was that ‘the damage was done’, and therefore, there was little point in attempting to stop smoking. When suggesting a cessation attempt, while some health professionals provided good levels of support, others were reported as providing very little. Some of the participants reported that they had never been advised to stop smoking. Knowledge of local smoking cessation services was generally poor. Finally, concern was voiced regarding the perceived health risks of using nicotine replacement therapy. The main reasons why the former smokers had stopped smoking were health-related. Many had received little help and support from health professionals when attempting to stop smoking. Most of the former smokers believed that stopping smoking in later life had been beneficial to their health. In conclusion, members of the primary care team have a key role to play in encouraging older people to stop smoking. In order to function effectively, it is essential that they take account of older smokers’ health beliefs and that issues, such as knowledge of smoking cessation resources, are addressed.",
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Smoking after the age of 65 years: a qualitative exploration of older current and former smokers' views on smoking, stopped smoking, and smoking cessation resources and services. / Kerr, Susan M.; Watson, Hazel; Tolson, Debbie; Lough, Murray; Brown, Malcolm.

In: Health and Social Care in the Community, 01.11.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Smoking after the age of 65 years: a qualitative exploration of older current and former smokers' views on smoking, stopped smoking, and smoking cessation resources and services

AU - Kerr, Susan M.

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AU - Tolson, Debbie

AU - Lough, Murray

AU - Brown, Malcolm

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KW - smoking cessation

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