Predictors of Smoking Lapse During a 48-Hour Laboratory Analogue Smoking Cessation Attempt

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Many individuals who attempt to quit smoking experience a smoking lapse early on in the quitting process, with most lapses resulting in a return to regular smoking. Using a novel laboratory model, this study sought to investigate baseline predictors of smoking lapse during a brief, simulated smoking quit attempt. Self-report baseline measures were completed by 81 smokers, who also smoked a cigarette in the laboratory to equate recent smoke exposure. Participants were then given brief face-to-face smoking-cessation counseling along with monetary incentives to abstain from smoking for 48 hr (i.e., $40). Participants returned to the laboratory after 24 hr and 48 hr for assessment of smoking behavior. By 48 hr, 25 participants lapsed, with rates equivalent among men and women (31% vs. 31%). Higher rates of delay discounting and a preference for menthol cigarettes significantly predicted greater odds of lapsing. Shorter time to first cigarette after waking (TTFC) was associated with greater lapse risk at trend levels. No effects were observed for demographic variables, cigarettes per day, prequit abstinence self-efficacy, or depressive symptoms. Future research examining predictors of early lapse and underlying mechanisms is needed, and laboratory analogue models offer a controlled time- and cost-effective framework in which to investigate smoking cessation processes.

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