Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Smoking cessation, tobacco control, low-income, developing countries, waterpipe
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The most commonly attributed causes of failure of smoking cessation are non-adherence to treatment, experiencing severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms and post-cessation weight gain. However, there is a lack of information regarding these factors among smokers who attempt to quit in low-income country settings. The main objective of this study was to identify predictors of: 1) adherence to cessation treatment; 2) severity of withdrawal symptoms: and 3) post-cessation changes in body mass index among 269 smokers who attempted to quit in a randomized smoking cessation trial in a low-income country setting (Aleppo, Syria). All participants received behavioral counseling and were randomized to receive either 6 weeks of nicotine or placebo patch and were followed for one year.
Findings from logistic regression showed that lower adherence to cessation treatment was associated with higher daily smoking, greater withdrawal symptoms, waterpipe use, being on placebo patch and the perception of receiving placebo patch. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) analyses indicated that throughout the study, lower total withdrawal score was associated with greater education, older age of smoking initiation, higher confidence in ability to quit, higher adherence to patch, lower nicotine dependence, lower reported depression, waterpipe use and the perception of receiving nicotine patches rather than placebo. Further, smoking abstainers gained 1.8 BMI units (approximately 4.8kg) greater than non-abstainers over one year post quitting. In addition, greater BMI was associated with being female, smoking to control weight and having previously failed to quit due to weight gain.
In conclusion, nicotine dependence, waterpipe use and expectancies regarding cessation treatment are important factors that influence adherence to cessation treatment and severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, targeted interventions that take into consideration the prevailing local and cultural influences on diet and levels of physical activity are recommended especially for females and smokers with weight concerns prior to quitting. Collectively, these findings will help in conducting future tailored effective cessation programs in Syria and other low-income countries with similar levels of developments and tobacco use patterns.
Ben Taleb, Ziyad, "Predictors of Adherence, Withdrawal Symptoms and Changes in Body Mass Index: Finding from the First Randomized Smoking Cessation Trial in a Low-income Country Setting" (2016). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2628.
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