Identification of Three Different Types of Smokers Who Are Not Motivated to Quit: Results From a Latent Class Analysis

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Objective: The majority of smokers are not motivated to quit within 30 days. We examined whether these smokers are a homogeneous group, hypothesizing that subtypes of unmotivated smokers could be identified. Method: Included were 500 smokers not ready to quit within 30 days who completed an online survey assessing variables known to be associated with quitting. Results: Latent Class Analysis revealed 3 unmotivated smoker subtypes. “Health-Concerned Smokers,” (HCS; n = 166) had a significantly greater proportion of previous smoking-related illness and high risk perceptions. “Smokers with Psychosocial Barriers” (SPB; n = 192) had a significantly greater proportion of younger smokers, partners who smoked, other household smokers, and children. “Unconvinced Smokers” (UCS; n = 142) had the lowest proportion of those who: were motivated and confident to quit, had smoking-related illnesses, and perceived the risks of smoking and benefits of quitting. UCS had the highest proportion with optimistic bias, and no prior quit attempts. A greater proportion of HCS had high motivation to quit versus SPB and UCS. In model validation, 60.6% of UCS said they “never plan to quit” versus 31.8% of SPB and 22.3% of HCS; SPB and HCS had lower odds of never planning to quit versus UCS. Of those who plan on quitting at some point, 75.2% of HCS and 62.6% of SPB plan on quitting within 1 year, versus 46.4% of UCS; the cumulative odds of planning to quit later were higher among UCS. Conclusions: Smokers who are not motivated to quit are not a homogeneous group; tailored intervention approaches and targeted messages might be needed to motivate quitting.

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