To explore disadvantaged former miners’ perspectives in north Derbyshire, United Kingdom (UK) on smoking and smoking cessation.


In-depth, audiotaped interviews with 16 disadvantaged former miners who smoked or had stopped smoking within six months.


Perceptions of being able to stop smoking with minimal difficulty and without support appeared common, despite most participants having previously made unsuccessful quit attempts. Smoking was often viewed as being less risky than coal mining. Smoke-free legislation appeared to be perceived as a threat to local social capital.


Former miners in disadvantaged communities may attempt to stop smoking in response to illness, but persuading them to stop smoking before they develop ill health perhaps requires health educators to directly engage with significant local factors. These issues may include the benefits and availability of support in quitting, epidemiological concerns in determining smoking-related harm and a perceived threat to local social capital posed by smoke-free legislation.

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