Disuguaglianze regionali e socioeconomiche nella cessazione del fumo in Italia, 2014-2017

Translated title of the contribution: Socioeconomic and regional inequalities in smoking cessation in Italy, 2014-2017

Gruppo di lavoro MADES

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: to study regional differences in Italy of quit smoking attempts and of successful abstinence, in relation to socioeconomic status, cigarettes per day (cig/die), and smoking cessation method in a representative sample of the population resident in Italy.

DESIGN: cross-sectional survey.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: in 2014-2017, PASSI survey (the ongoing Italian behavioural risk factor surveillancesystem) gathered data on smoking and sociodemographic characteristics of 35,157 smokers; 13,130 aged 18-69 years made >1 quit attempt in the previous year, 1,176 of them were successful quitters for >6 months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: proportion of smokers who tried to quit; proportion of smokers who successfully quitted.

RESULTS: about 35% of smokers made >1 quit attempt in the last year. Northern Italians and smokers with many economic difficulties were more likely to make a quit attempt, whereas heavy smokers were less likely. About 10% of attempters were abstinent for >6 months: from 6% in Campania and Abruzzo to 17% in the Bolzano province. Attempters who smoked <20 cig/die had higher likelihood to be abstinent, compared to those smoking <20 cig/die. Attempters with many economic difficulties had the lowest likelihood to be abstinent (7%), with no differences by region, educational level, quitting method. Attempters with no economic difficulties recorded the highest cessation rates (12%). Among them, those from Northern Italy, Tuscany, Marche, and Lazio (Central Italy), and Apulia (Southern Italy) compared to attempters from most Southern regions, and those with high education level or using traditional quitting methods compared to those using electronic cigarettes or unaided were more likely to be abstinent for >6 months.

CONCLUSIONS: smokers with many economic difficulties in all Italy, and those with no economic difficulties residing in Umbria and in most Southern Italian regions, except for Basilicata and Puglia, recorded lower chances to quit. Regional differences may have two possible explanations integrating each other: Northern-Central regions are in a slightly more advanced stage in the tobacco epidemic; regions which developed specific tobacco control interventions in their Prevention Plans recorded higher quitting rates. Not-yet-implemented interventions could promote smoking cessation in smokers from Southern Italy and in those with lower socioeconomic status: reimbursement of smoking cessation treatments, a well-developed national Quitline linked to a webplatform and to mobile phone application or text-messaging, an opt-out smoking cessation service offered systematically to all smokers at every encounter in hospitals or health services.

Translated title of the contributionSocioeconomic and regional inequalities in smoking cessation in Italy, 2014-2017
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)275-285
Number of pages11
JournalEpidemiologia e prevenzione
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 2019


  • stop smoking
  • Cross sectional studies
  • methods to quit smoking
  • electronic cigarette
  • Italy


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