Predictors of smoking cessation attempts and success following motivation-phase interventions among people initially unwilling to quit smoking

Elias M. Klemperer, Robin Mermelstein, Timothy B. Baker, John R. Hughes, Michael C. Fiore, Megan E. Piper, Tanya R. Schlam, Douglas E. Jorenby, Linda M. Collins, Jessica W. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Most people who smoke cigarettes are not willing (ie, not ready) to make a quit attempt (QA) at any given time. Unfortunately, interventions intended to increase QAs and the success of QAs are only modestly effective. Identifying processes leading to QAs and quitting success could guide intervention development. Aims and Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a randomized factorial trial of 6 weeks of motivation-phase interventions among primary care patients (N = 517) who were initially unwilling to quit but were willing to reduce their smoking. Using logistic regression, we controlled for treatment condition and tested whether baseline or change in smoking-related constructs after 6 weeks of treatment predicted (1) making an at least 24 h QA between weeks 6 and 26 and (2) quitting success at week 26 (7-day point-prevalence abstinence among those who made a QA). Predictors included cigarettes/day, time to first cigarette, motivation to quit, quitting self-efficacy, anticipated urges to smoke if quit, positive affect, negative affect, and time spent around others who smoke. Results: In multivariable models that included all smoking-related constructs, changes in the following variables predicted initiating a QA above and beyond other variables: greater baseline time to first cigarette (odds ratio [OR] = 1.60), increases in time to first cigarette (OR = 1.27), and increases in quitting self-efficacy (OR = 1.14). Increased motivation to quit predicted conversion of a QA into quitting success at 26 weeks (OR = 1.36). Conclusion: Predictors of making a QA differed from predictors of quitting success. Predictors of QAs and success could each serve as important treatment targets of motivation-phase interventions. Implications: Motivation-phase interventions for people initially unwilling to quit smoking cigarettes may be improved by striving to increase their (1) time to first cigarette and quitting self-efficacy to promote QAs and (2) motivation to quit to promote quit success. Future experimental tests of such interventions are needed to identify causal determinants of QAs and quitting success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1446-1452
Number of pages7
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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