Expanding the Target of Relapse–Prevention Training to Include Self–Quit Ex–Smokers: Is There a Need?

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One possible cost-effective approach to reducing the prevalence of smoking is to provide minimal relapse-prevention (RP) interventions to self-quitting smokers who have already achieved initial cessation. To examine the feasibility of this approach and its attractiveness to ex-smokers, a single advertisement was placed in the Syracuse, New York, newspapers. This yielded 152 requests for free RP information. Participants had been chronic (M = 28 years of smoking) heavy smokers (i.e., 30 cigarettes per day) who had abstained for a moderate length of time (8.4 months). As predicted, most respondents (85%) were self-quitters. Participants rated the RP material favorably but requested further help. Consistent with prior research, negative affectivity was associated with both perceived difficulty maintaining abstinence and interest in additional interventions. Findings suggest the need for controlled research on the efficacy of providing RP training to self-quitters.

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