This study uses longitudinal data from the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia (ITC-SEA Thailand) survey to explore patterns and predictors of successful quitting among Thai adult smokers as a function of time quit. A cohort of a representative sample of 2000 smokers was surveyed four times from 2005 to 2009. A sample of 1533 individuals provided data for at least one of the reported analyses. Over the four years of follow-up, 97% made attempts to quit. Outcomes were successful quitting/relapse: (a) quit attempts of at least one month (short-term relapse, 43%) (57% remaining quit); (b) surviving at least six months (medium-term) (31%); (c) relapse between one and six months (45%); (d) having continuously quit between Waves 3 and 4 (sustained abstinence) (14%); and (e) relapse from six months on (44%) compared to those who continuously quit between Waves 3 and 4 (56%). Predictors for early relapse (<1 month) differ from longer-term relapse. Age was associated with reduced relapse over all three periods, and was much stronger for longer periods of abstinence. Cigarette consumption predicted relapse for short and medium terms. Self-assessed addiction was predictive of early relapse, but reversed to predict abstinence beyond six months. Previous quit history of more than one week was predictive of early abstinence, but became unrelated subsequently. Self-efficacy was strongly predictive of abstinence in the first month but was associated with relapse thereafter. Some determinants of relapse change with time quit, but this may be in somewhat different to patterns found in the West.
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