BACKGROUND: A sizeable amount of the population continues to smoke despite global efforts in smoking cessation; unfortunately smoking prevalence is especially high in the productive age group, i.e., 22-65 years old. Even health care professionals who are aware of the ill effects of smoking have difficulty quitting.
OBJECTIVE: The main aim of this study is to investigate the smoking behavior and reasons for failure of smoking cessation in the general population and among health care professionals in Metro Manila.
METHODOLOGY: Random sampling of cities and participants was done. Cities included were Pasig, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Paranaque, Makati, Quezon City, Manila, Paranaque and Muntinlupa; hospitals included were CSMC, TMC, SLMC and UP-PGH. The Wisconsin Inventory of Smoking Dependence Motives (WISDM-68), a standardized questionnaire, was used.
RESULTS: A total f 4,000 survey forms were distributed and 1,388 (34.7%) were returned; 1,249 (90%) from the general population and 139 (10%) from health care professionals. Principal reasons for smoking and difficulty quitting in the general population are social and environmental goads, particularly in the workplace, and associative processes. Moreover, health care professionals are high in the motives that predict relapse, namely cognitive enhancement, social and environmental goads and negative reinforcement, in that order.
CONCLUSION: With a more in depth understanding of smoking behavior and practices and why most smokers fail to quit, physicians would be more adept in motivating and counseling each smoking patient to quit.