Unemployment and partnership breakdowns are common stressful life events, but their association with smoking cessation has been investigated in only a few studies.
To investigate how history of employment and cohabitation affects the probability of smoking cessation and to study joint exposure to both.
Birth cohort study of smoking cessation of 6232 Danish men born in 1953 with a follow-up at age 51 (response rate 66.2%). History of unemployment and cohabitation was measured annually using register data. Information on smoking cessation was obtained by a questionnaire.
The probability of smoking cessation decreased with the number of job losses (ranging from 1 OR 0.54 (95% CI 0.46 to 0.64) to 3+ OR 0.41 (95% CI 0.30 to 0.55)) and of broken partnerships (ranging from 1 OR 0.74 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.85) to 3+ OR 0.50 (95% CI 0.39 to 0.63)). Furthermore, smoking cessation was associated with the duration of the periods of unemployment (ranging from 1-5 years (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.85) to 10-23 years (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.38)) and with living without a partner for > 5 years (ranging from 6-9 years to 10-23 years (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.97) to 10-23 years (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.52)). Those who never cohabited and experienced one or more job losses had a particular low chance of smoking cessation (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.30).
The numbers of job losses and of broken partnerships were both inversely associated with probability of smoking cessation.