Target Quit Date Timing as a Predictor of Smoking Cessation Outcomes

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Evidence is mixed on whether timing of a target quit date (TQD) has an effect on quit success. The purpose of this secondary analysis of data from a prospective longitudinal study was to determine if time to TQD was a predictor of smoking abstinence at follow-up. Between 2011 and 2013, a total of 5,793 adult smokers participated in a 1-hr psychoeducation workshop and received 5 weeks of nicotine patch treatment. All participants were required to indicate a TQD within 1 month of the workshop. Latency to TQD was categorized into quartiles: 0 to 1 day (first quartile: 28.1%); 2 to 6 days (second quartile: 22.4%); 7 to 19 days (third quartile: 25.4%); 20–31 days (fourth quartile: 24.0%). Compared with participants who chose an immediate TQD within 1 day of the workshop, odds of having quit smoking at end-of-treatment and 6-month follow-up did not significantly differ among those who set a TQD within 2–6 days (5-weeks: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.89, p = .315; 6-months: AOR = 0.89, p = .417), but were significantly lower for those who chose a TQD either 7–19 days (5-weeks: AOR = 0.76, p = .023; 6-months: AOR = 0.70, p = .013) or 20–31 days (5-weeks: AOR = 0.64, p = .001; 6-months: AOR = 0.69, p = .017) after the workshop. TQD timing was an independent predictor of smoking cessation outcomes after controlling for potential confounding variables including confidence in quitting ability, importance of quitting, nicotine dependence, and number of nicotine patches used.

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