Economic crisis and smoking behaviour: prospective cohort study in Iceland Public Deposited

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  • Objective: To examine the associations between the 2008 economic collapse in Iceland and smoking behaviour at the national and individual levels. Design: A population-based, prospective cohort study based on a mail survey (Health and Wellbeing in Iceland) assessed in 2007 and 2009. Setting: National mail survey. Participants: Representative cohort (n=3755) of Icelandic adults. Main outcome measure: Smoking status. Results: A significant reduction in the prevalence of smoking was observed from 2007 (pre-economic collapse) to 2009 (postcollapse) in both males (17.4-14.8%; p 0.01) and females (20.0-17.5%; p 0.01) in the cohort (n=3755). At the individual level of analysis, male former smokers experiencing a reduction in income during the same period were less likely to relapse (OR 0.37; 95% CI 0.16 to 0.85). Female smokers were less likely to quit over time compared to males (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.45 to 0.93). Among male former smokers who experienced an increase in income between 2007 and 2009, we observed an elevated risk of smoking relapse (OR 4.02; 95% CI 1.15 to 14.00). Conclusions: The national prevalence of smoking in Iceland declined following the 2008 economic crisis. This could be due to the procyclical relationship between macro-economic conditions and smoking behaviour (ie, hard times lead to less smoking because of lower affordability), or it may simply reflect a continuation of trends already in place prior to the crisis. In individual-level analysis, we find that former smokers who experienced a decline in income were less likely to relapse; and conversely, an increase in income raises the risk. However, caution is warranted since these findings are based on small numbers.
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  • McClure, C. B., Valdimarsdóttir, U. A., Hauksdóttir, A., & Kawachi, I. (2012). Economic crisis and smoking behaviour: Prospective cohort study in iceland. BMJ Open, 2(5) doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001386
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell (deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-04-23T17:17:04Z No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1232 bytes, checksum: bb87e2fb4674c76d0d2e9ed07fbb9c86 (MD5) McClureChristopherBrucePublicHealthHumanSciencesEconomicCrisisSmoking.pdf: 181963 bytes, checksum: e146d21b8870d9566a379629c8fa843f (MD5)
  • Vol. 2 no. 5
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  • BMJ Open

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