Smoking cessation can be enhanced either by increasing the success of quit attempts or by increasing in the number of quit attempts. Although many studies have determined the variables that influence remaining abstinent after a quit attempt, few have examined the variables that influence the onset of a quit attempt. The current application tests two facets of a model of the processes that lead to a quit attempt. First, we test whether certain environmental cues (e.g., a request from a child to quit smoking or exposure to a smoking-related health message) increase the probability of a quit attempt in the near future. We also examine whether such cues predict attempts over and above the predictive ability of cognitive factors such as self-efficacy and perceived social norms and whether these cognitive factors interact to make cues more powerful predictors. Second, we test whether planning behaviors (e.g. seeking information about treatment) and setting a quit date are common and increase the probability of a quit attempt. We also provide a more rigorous replication test of prior findings that spontaneous, unplanned quit attempts are more successful than delayed, planned quit attempts. In a pilot study, we will develop measures of external cues and planning activities. The main study is a non-treatment, prospective, natural history study. In this study, we will recruit 200 adult daily smokers who are interested in quitting in the next 6 months. They will call an Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) system daily and complete mailed or internet questionnaires weekly for 6 months. Our prior work has shown that we can obtain such daily and weekly reports for 6 months with little missing data. The daily IVR will record tobacco use/abstinence, intentions to quit, external cues and planning behaviors. The weekly questionnaires will measure cognitive variables and other outcomes (e.g. other drug use). Data analysis will use multilevel models designed to accommodate many repeated measures over time within participants. The results of this study will a) help develop a model of the causes of smoking cessation attempts, b) guide development of media and individual interventions to motivate smokers to make a quit attempt, and c) provide a more rigorous test of whether spontaneous, impulsive quit attempts should be encouraged rather than delayed, planned quit attempts.

Public Health Relevance

Despite many public health efforts, most smokers do not try to quit in a given year and, despite significant public health efforts, the number of smokers who try to quit each year has not increased in the last 15 yrs. We propose a study to better understand how smokers decide to quit smoking;e.g., what cues prompt them to try to quit and how much they plan out their quit attempts. The study will also test a recent finding that smokers who make a spontaneous, unplanned quit attempt do better than those who delay and plan out their quit attempt. The study will have smokers call in information daily or weekly about cigs/day, exposure to cues to stop smoking, their intentions to quit, their actual quit attempts, etc for 6 months. The results of this study will a) help develop media and individual interventions to motivate smokers to make a quit attempt, and b) help decide if smokers should be encouraged to quit spontaneously or wait and plan out their quit attempts.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions Study Section (RPIA)
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Grossman, Debra
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University of Vermont & St Agric College
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Hughes, John R; Naud, Shelly (2016) Perceived role of motivation and self-efficacy in smoking cessation: A secondary data analysis. Addict Behav 61:58-61
Hughes, John R; Naud, Shelly; Budney, Alan J et al. (2016) Environmental cues and attempts to change in daily cannabis users: An intensive longitudinal study. Drug Alcohol Depend 161:15-20
Hughes, John R; Naud, Shelly (2016) Abstinence expectancies and quit attempts. Addict Behav 63:93-6
Hughes, John R; Naud, Shelly; Budney, Alan J et al. (2016) Attempts to stop or reduce daily cannabis use: An intensive natural history study. Psychol Addict Behav 30:389-97
Hughes, John R; Naud, Shelly; Fingar, James R et al. (2015) Do environmental cues prompt attempts to stop smoking? A prospective natural history study. Drug Alcohol Depend 154:146-51
Hughes, John R; Solomon, Laura J; Naud, Shelly et al. (2014) Natural history of attempts to stop smoking. Nicotine Tob Res 16:1190-8
Hughes, John R; Solomon, Laura J; Fingar, James R et al. (2013) The natural history of efforts to stop smoking: a prospective cohort study. Drug Alcohol Depend 128:171-4
Hughes, John R (2010) A quantitative estimate of the clinical significance of treating tobacco dependence. Am J Prev Med 39:285-6
Hughes, John R; Callas, Peter W (2010) Data to assess the generalizability of samples from studies of adult smokers. Nicotine Tob Res 12:73-6
Hughes, John R; Carpenter, Matthew J; Naud, Shelly (2010) Do point prevalence and prolonged abstinence measures produce similar results in smoking cessation studies? A systematic review. Nicotine Tob Res 12:756-62