Identifying Subgroups of Hard-core Smokers With a Latent Profile Approach
J. Bommelé1, M. Kleinjan1, T.M. Schoenmakers1, W.J. Burk1, R. van den Eijnden1, D. van de Mheen1
1IVO Addiction Research Institute Heemraadssingel, Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Background: Hard-core smokers are smokers who have smoked for a considerable number of years and show little to no intention to quit. They might differ in their perceived pros and cons of smoking and quitting, which influence their intention to quit. Identifying distinct subgroups (profiles) based on these pros and cons could help to tailor information and improve approach and treatment efforts. Methods: 510 hard-core smokers completed an online survey on the perceived pros and cons of smoking and quitting. To identify possible profiles of hard-core smokers, we performed a latent profile analysis on these pros and cons. Results: We found three profiles among hard-core smokers. ‘Receptive’ hard-core smokers (36%) perceived many cons of smoking and saw many benefits of quitting. ‘Ambivalent’ hard-core smokers (59%) were rather ambiguous towards quitting. ‘Persistent’ hard-core smokers (5%) saw few pros of quitting, but many pros of smoking. Discussion: Hard-core smokers are not homogeneous in their perceived pros and cons of quitting and smoking. Results from this study may help to develop individualized tobacco-control messages for this hard-to-reach group of smokers.