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

M. Irfan, A. S. Haque, H. Shahzad, Z. A. Samani, S. Awan, J. A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


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. OBJ E CTIVE S: 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. RESULT S: Of 12 969 participants successfully enrolled, the mean age was 31.4 ± 10.0 years. More than three quarters were aged 20-40 years (n = 10 168, 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. CONCLUS ION: The information provided by this study can guide the development of more targeted intervention programmes for smokers who wish to quit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-678
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Failure to quit
  • Smokeless tobacco
  • Smoking cessation
  • Smoking prevalence
  • Tobacco cessation


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