Reasons for failure to quit: a cross-sectional survey of tobacco use in major cities in Pakistan

Document Type



Pulmonary and Critical Care


Background: Tobacco dependence has been defined as a chronic relapsing disease. Around 5 million annual tobacco-related deaths have been reported worldwide. The majority of smokers want to quit but are not successful.

Objectives: To screen our population for tobacco use, gauge the baseline demographics of tobacco users and assess factors associated with failed attempts to quit.

Methods: Free health camps supervised by a physician were held across two major cities of Pakistan. All consenting participants were administered a questionnaire and had their exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) levels measured.

Results: Of 12969 participants successfully enrolled, the mean age was 31.4 ± 10.0 years. More than three quarters were aged 20-40 years (n = 10168, 78.4%). The overall average CO level was 12.0 ± 8.0 ppm. The majority of the participants wanted to quit, and nearly everyone had received advice about quitting. The majority had tried smoking cessation pharmacotherapy. Friends/peer pressure (n = 1554, 12%), anxiety (n = 681, 5.3%), tobacco dependence (n = 1965, 15.2%) and stress/mood changes (n = 390, 3.0%) were the most widely observed reasons for failure to quit in study participants.

CONCLUSION: The information provided by this study can guide the development of more targeted intervention programmes for smokers who wish to quit.

Publication ( Name of Journal)

The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease