• Open Access

Strong smoker interest in ‘setting an example to children’ by quitting: national survey data


Correspondence to:
George Thomson, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Box 7343 Wellington, New Zealand; e-mail: george.thomson@otago.ac.nz


Objective: To further explore smoker views on reasons to quit.

Methods: As part of the multi-country ITC Project, a national sample of 1,376 New Zealand adult (18+ years) smokers was surveyed in 2007/08. This sample included boosted sampling of Māori, Pacific and Asian New Zealanders.

Results:‘Setting an example to children’ was given as ‘very much’ a reason to quit by 51%, compared to 45% giving personal health concerns. However, the ‘very much’ and ‘somewhat’ responses (combined) were greater for personal health (81%) than ‘setting an example to children’ (74%). Price was the third ranked reason (67%). In a multivariate analysis, women were significantly more likely to state that ‘setting an example to children’ was ‘very much’ or ‘somewhat’ a reason to quit; as were Māori, or Pacific compared to European; and those suffering financial stress.

Conclusion: The relatively high importance of ‘example to children’ as a reason to quit is an unusual finding, and may have arisen as a result of social marketing campaigns encouraging cessation to protect families in New Zealand.

Implications: The policy implications could include a need for a greater emphasis on social reasons (e.g. ‘example to children’), in pack warnings, and in social marketing for smoking cessation.