This study was conducted to identify the psychosocial factors associated with successful smoking cessation among ever-smokers aged 60 and older in the United States. Descriptive and multivariate analyses of the 2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were conducted. Controlling for sociodemographics and medical history of smoking-associated diseases, former smokers were less likely to have psychological distress (adjusted OR=0.71, 95% CI=0.58-0.88) and more likely to believe in the danger of second-hand smoke (adjusted OR=3.01, 95% CI=2.4-3.79) and the appropriateness of a smoking ban in indoor public places (adjusted OR=2.62, 95% CI=2.11-3.26). Having no regular source for care (adjusted OR=0.54, 95% CI=0.37-0.78) was an independent barrier to cessation, as were younger age, female, Hispanic race, being nonmarried and employed, and having lower income and education. This work contributes to a knowledge base for the development of interventions to maximize smoking cessation of elderly smokers. Findings suggest that strategies tailored to psychological distress and beliefs about smoking health harms and smoking restriction policies would aid in successful cessation. Specific measures reinforcing the importance of having a regular source for care may promote cessation. The extent to which these psychosocial factors affect elders' motivation to quit smoking remains to be explored.
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