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Tobacco Related Knowledge Is Associated with Heaviness of Smoking Index (HSI) and Intention to Quit among Korean Smokers: Findings from 2016 ITC Korea Survey
J Korean Soc Res Nicotine Tob 2018; 9(Suppl S1): S31-S38
Published online January 31, 2018
© 2018 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Yoon-Jung Choi1, Hong Gwan Seo1,2,3*, Yeol Kim1,2,4, Eun young Kim3, Geoffrey T Fong5,6,7, Mi Yan5, Pete Driezen5

1Department of Cancer Prevention and Detection, National Cancer Center,
2Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, National Cancer Center,
3Tobacco Control Center, National Cancer Center,
4Cancer Early Detection Branch, National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea,
5Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada,
6Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,
7School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Correspondence to: 꽌솉愿
援由쎌븫꽱꽣 援젣븫븰썝븰援 寃쎄린룄 怨좎뼇떆 씪궛룞援 씪궛濡 323 (슦)10408
Tel: 031-920-200 Fax: 031-920-1511 E-mail:
Received August 14, 2017; Revised December 8, 2017; Accepted January 29, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: International Tobacco Control project (ITC) was performed in South Korea for evaluation of the effects of smoking control policies in compliance with FCTC. We tested the association between the level of knowledge and heaviness of smoking index (HSI), and intention to quit smoking.
Methods: The study followed the same methodology by ITC policy evaluation project. Trained call center staffs interviewed 2000 current smokers (1800 men and 200 women, aged 19-65) on the phone. Tobacco-related knowledge was evaluated by asking participants the diseases related with smoking such as stroke, impotence, visual loss, peripheral vascular disease, bladder cancer, and breast cancer. Multivariate logistic regression was used for statistical analysis, which was adjusted by age, sex, education level, annual household income, alcohol consumption frequency, and heaviness of smoking index.
Results: High HSI score (3-6) was associated with low knowledge score (Odds ratio (OR) 0.80, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.65-0.99). Smokers who had intention to quit smoking in any future were also more likely to be in a high knowledge score group (10-14 vs. 0-9 out of 14) (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.19-1.89).
Conclusion: Smokers who had higher HSI or had no intention to quit tended to have lower level of knowledge regarding health risk of smoking. This implies that education and public awareness on health risk of tobacco could be more effective when targeted to these smokers.
Keywords : Awareness; Knowledge; Tobacco; Heaviness; Smoking; Intention; Quit
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