Employment, gender, and smoking cessation outcomes in low-income smokers using nicotine replacement therapy

Diana J. Burgess, Steven S. Fu, Siamak Noorbaloochi, Barbara A. Clothier, Jennifer Ricards, Rachel Widome, Michelle van Ryn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Introduction: This study examines the presence and correlates of gender disparities in smoking cessation among lower income smokers prescribed nicotine replacement medication. Methods: We examined quit rates (7-day abstinence point prevalence) among a cohort of smokers who filled prescriptions for nicotine replacement (N = 1,782), using Minnesota Health Care Programs' (e.g., Medicaid) pharmacy claims databases (2005-2006) and mixed-mode survey protocols. A cohort of smokers who recently filled a prescription for nicotine replacement was stratified by race, and then subjects were selected by simple random sample from each race, oversampling the nonWhite groups (N = 1,782). The primary outcome was point prevalence of 7-day abstinence, and outcomes were assessed about 8 months after the nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) index prescription fill date using a mixed-mode survey protocol. Final interaction models were constructed using backward elimination. Results: Abstinence rates were 11.4% among women and 19.2% among men (p = .02) and remained marginally significant after controlling for demographics, mental and physical health, period of cigarette abstinence, social environment, religious attendance, perceived stress, and NRT prescription type (p = .08). There was a significant Gender × Employment interaction (p = .02). Among men, quit rates were higher among the employed (26%) compared with the unemployed (16%); among women, quit rates were lower among those who were employed (8%) compared with those who were unemployed (14%). Discussion: Results suggest the need for research on factors specific to women's work roles or workplaces that inhibit cessation as well as cessation programs tailored to low-income, employed female smokers. On-site workplace interventions and flexible counseling programs may be especially beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1447
Number of pages9
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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