Background: Weight concerns are prevalent in smokers and may reduce the success rate of quitting. This concept has been primarily studied on US populations and it is unknown how weight concerns may differ cross-culturally. This study examined the role of weight concern in European smokers wishing to stop smoking. Methods: A sample of 593 smokers (299 men and 294 women, mean age 38 years) utilizing the Centre for Tobacco-Dependent in Prague, Czech Republic, between 2010 and 2013 were studied. Weight concerns were assessed at baseline prior to treatment by evidence-based stop smoking methods. Abstinence was evaluated at 12 months post baseline. Results: Approximately 34% of all patients (204/593) were classified as weight concerned (by indicating on the Weight Concern Scale that they would return to smoking after any weight gain) at the time they sought treatment. Among all men, 19.4% (58/299) were weight concerned and among all women, 49.7% (146/294) were weight concerned. Among females, weight-concerned smokers were of similar weight, but younger (p < .001), and had been smoking cigarettes for fewer years (p = .002) compared with those without weight concerns, whereas the male weight-concerned smokers were significantly (p = .030) heavier than those without weight concerns. Although the presence of weight concern was associated with a delay in setting a quit date (log-rank test p = .019), it was not associated with abstinence at one year. Conclusion: The quit success rate of weight-concerned smokers in Czech Republic did not differ from those without weight concern when utilizing an individualized smoking cessation treatment program. Individually tailored tobacco dependence treatment could help to prevent weight concern from affecting successful quitting. Implications: This study adds the new cross-cultural aspect of post-cessation weight concern. Weight concern has been studied primarily on US populations and our sample consists of European sample of smokers. Additionally, we have found that the presence of weight concern lead to delay in setting a quit date, but the success rate of those weight concerned did not differ from those without weight concern. Thus, it is possible, that this individualized evidence-based tobacco treatment program was able to prevent weight concern impact towards successful quitting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health