Objectives: Understanding the sociodemographic characteristics associated with cigarette smoking and quitting decisions allows policy decision-making to attempt to curtail smoking. Individual smoking and quitting decisions are examined using an endogenous sample selection model. Methods: Using data for 4,110 individuals from the 2011 Malaysian Global Adult Tobacco Survey, a probit model is estimated for quitting, subject to sample selection for smokers. Marginal effects of exposure variables are calculated for the probability of smoking and probability of quitting conditional on smoking. Results: Ethnic Malays/Bumiputera, urbanites, ignorance of the hazards associated with secondhand smoke, lack of smoking rules at home, and lack of religious restriction contribute to smoking likelihoods. Older age, being a female, ethnic Chinese, married, at home smoking prohibition, and knowledge of secondhand smoke risks are associated with higher probability of quitting conditional upon smoking. Working in non-government occupations, individuals of other ethnic background, and smoking consent at home are associated with lower quitting probability conditional upon smoking. Conclusion: Health awareness and educational programs should be directed at specific population groups with the above sociodemographic characteristics to discourage smoking initiation and promote quitting among smokers.
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