UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - UKNSCC
2009 UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - London more...

Overcoming barriers faced by smokers in quitting cigarettes
Henna Ali , Health Psychology Team Leader, City University, London and NHS South West Essex, UK


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Henna Ali

A ten year gap in life expectancy exists between the most and least deprived areas within South West Essex thus helping people to quit smoking is a key activity in reducing these health inequalities.

The objective of this research was to understand the barriers in quitting cigarettes and then to explore ways of overcoming these barriers. The qualitative method used was grounded theory in conjunction with social marketing.

Four main themes were identified. These were associations (smokers associating smoking with weight, stress and alcohol), competition, self-efficacy and relationship with healthcare professionals.

We found that a blanket approach was not appropriate for our target group and tailoring programmes to the clients needs would be far more effective. Members of the focus groups reported a dislike of accessing ‘silo’ services and wanted to access services, which would look at their smoking behaviour more holistically. This informed our decision to form a new service called Vitality to be a one-stop shop. Vitality aims to look at clients’ overall health and well-being as well as providing individualised care. This initiative as well as targeted marketing has led to a 400% increase in the number of people accessing our service.


About the presenter
Henna Ali is a final year health psychology doctorate student at City University, London and is the health psychology team leader at NHS South West Essex. Her main research interests are smoking, diet during pregnancy, social marketing and cross-cultural research.


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