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Who Still Smokes in Older Age?
J Korean Soc Res Nicotine Tob 2023; 14(4): 154-165
Published online December 30, 2023
© 2023 The Korean Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.

Young-Mee Kim1, Sung-il Cho1,2*

1Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, 2Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: *議곗꽦씪
꽌슱븰援 蹂닿굔븰썝
Received December 11, 2023; Revised December 20, 2023; Accepted December 20, 2023.
This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, dis-tribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Elderly smokers often quit smoking due to declining health and economic status. However, the impact of life changes in older age on smoking behavior remains unexplored. This study aims to explore factors influencing smoking among elderly Korean population.
Methods: The study utilized 2020 data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing, encompassing 5,642 seniors (2,350 males and 3,292 females). We performed sex-stratified multivariate logistic analyses to discern sex-specific differences.
Results: Among elderly men, factors such as being younger in their age group, lower education, reduced household assets, fewer chronic diseases, BMI below 23, lack of regular exercise, and alcohol consumption correlated with current smoking. Conversely, for older women, younger age, living alone, limited social engagement, and alcohol consumption were linked to smoking. Notably, the role of social relationships in smoking varied by sex; single females who were less socially active were more likely to smoke, whereas single status and social activity level had no significant correlation with smoking in males.
Conclusion: This study underscores the need to consider diverse life circumstances and gender-specific factors affecting smoking in elderly population. It highlights the necessity of tailored approaches in smoking cessation programs for this demographic.
Keywords : Smoking; Smoking cessation; Gender differences; Aged; Healthy aging
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