San Antonio (Texas)- Dr. Bethea Annie Kleykamp and CoEHAR researchers have presented the results of a study conducted across a very vulnerable, and often forgotten, population: older adults who are are trying to stop smoking.
The annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) gathered more than 1.500 researchers from more than 40 countries in San Antonio (Texas) from 1 to 4th March 2023. The meeting is one of the most important event for scientists involved in research about Nicotine and Tobacco.
At this year event, CoEHAR researchers teamed with Dr. Bethea Annie Kleykamp of BAK and Associates, Baltimore to present and discuss findings from a cohort of smokers attending the smoking cessation center of the University of Catania (Italy).
The objective of their observational study was to compare tobacco use characteristics among young (18-24 years), middle (45-64 years), and older adults (65+ years) patients attending a smoking cessation clinic. On average, older adults smoked for nearly 50 years at baseline and 30% had never tried to stop smoking. The researchers found that mean reduction in cigarettes smoked was smallest for older adults and quitting smoking was least likely for young adults. Older adults were least likely to choose e-cigarettes as an intervention, young adults were most likely to choose e-cigarettes.
“Older adults are significantly underrepresented in biomedical research” explains Dr. Bethea Annie Kleykamp, principal of BAK and Associates, Baltimore and first author of the study (in the picture)- “especially in the field of nicotine and tobacco research. The continued focus on younger generations of smokers has obscured the reality that combustible tobacco use has remained virtually unchanged for older adults for nearly two decades in the United States.”.
“The medical community in general and tobacco control researchers are little interested in the elderly smoker. In my clinical experience elderly smokers become a little more receptive of cessation messages only when their clinical condition deteriorates significantly. We hope that our new research program will revive interest in this very neglected and overlooked population!” stated Prof. Riccardo Polosa, founder of the CoEHAR.
“Having a history of decades of smoking is often linked to previous failed attempts to quit – explained Pasquale Caponnetto – especially for those smokers that are not included in prevention program or for those who are not keen in trying new technologies, it is crucial to open a dialogue on the emerging cessation tools, such as risk modified products. Data from this study will help cessation experts to approach older smokers and build tailored programs that can assist even those who are not young anymore in quit smoking. Because it is never too late to say goodbye to cigarettes”.