People in lower socioeconomic groups tend to be less likely to quit smoking than their peers in higher groups.
The study titled, “Differences between ethnic groups in self‐reported use of e‐cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy for cutting down and temporary abstinence: a cross‐sectional population‐level survey in England,” found that it is less common for smokers of Asian, Arab, and other ethnicities, to use e-cigarettes as a means to quit smoking.

The UK is very progressive in terms of endorsing the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. To this effect, noting this comparative under use of e-cigarettes is important especially as ethnic minority groups in England appear to be at a higher risk of smoking-related diseases. An article on EurekAlert points out that a NICE guidance says that reducing smoking prevalence could reduce those health inequalities more than any other measure.

People in lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to smoke

Similarly, a recent study currently being reviewed by the University of Helsinki, found that in Finland, citizens belonging to lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to smoke than their peers in higher groups.

“We know smoking has directly adverse effects on human health. Based on the study, it can be said that if this trend continues, so too will the growth of health inequalities,” said Otto Ruokolainen, an expert at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and author of the Finnish study. The research also indicated that raising tobacco prices is a motivating factor for smokers to quit.

The study analysed population data covering a 40-year period from 1978 to 2017, and the number of respondents across the different surveys varied from fewer than 1,000 to around 400,000.

The research highlighted the fact that people in lower socioeconomic groups tend to be less likely to quit smoking than their peers in higher groups. Ruokolainen said that government policies need to address this. “There should be better support for smokers and a particular focus on supporting people in lower socioeconomic groups in order to reduce their smoking to the same level as those in higher groups,” he said.

Similar patterns amongst indigenous Australians

A paper by researchers from the Australian National University, indicated similar patterns. The research team compiled data from 1,388 Aboriginal people from New South Wales, who participated in the 45 and UP study, a longitudinal study run by the Sax Institute of 267,153 people aged 45 and older, randomly selected from the NSW population.

Half of all deaths amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 45, were tragically caused by smoking-related illnesses, equating to about 10,000 premature preventable deaths, reported the study. This means that smokers in these groups, are dying approximately 10 years earlier than non-smokers.

NZ: Tackling Maori and Pasifika Smoking Rates Must Remain a Priority 

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