Socioeconomic differences and smoking: clear connections with implications for tobacco policy
Smoking is more common among people with a lower educational level, professional qualifications and income. This is a major contributor to inequalities in health and mortality.
Inequalities in smoking appear to have their origin in early adolescence. Later in life these inequalities increase due to differences in smoking cessation between higher and lower socioeconomic status groups.
The inequalities in smoking cessation have already been explained in great detail. The close association between smoking and a lower level of education during adolescence is much less clear.
Evaluation of tobacco control measures has shown differences in effectiveness between groups of higher and lower socioeconomic status.
There are possibilities to allow measures to control tobacco to be more effective in groups of a lower socioeconomic status. Higher taxes on tobacco products should be accompanied by better access to professional help to stop smoking.
For the early recognition of unforeseen reactions, structural control measures should be monitored.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.