Helping Relationships for Smoking Cessation: Grounded Theory Development of the Process of Finding Help to Quit

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Some cigarette smokers report supportive people from their social network are helpful when they attempt to quit smoking.


This qualitative study set out to explain the process of quitting smoking cigarettes, with specific attention to the question of whether the help of another person was important.


Grounded theory was used. Participants were volunteers who responded to a flier posted on a health sciences center campus. Purposeful sampling was used as data were analyzed. Transcripts of interviews conducted with 16 participants of diverse demographic backgrounds were analyzed.


Interpretive analysis of coded transcripts revealed three major guiding constructs supporting the process of finding a helper to quit smoking: (a) seeking out helper qualities, (b) building a helping relationship, and (c) constructing the environment.


The use of a helping relationship for smoking cessation was important for smokers in the study to successfully quit. A very salient quality, constructing the environment, emerged as one of the most important aspects of the process of quitting smoking.

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