Coping with the urge to smoke: A real-time analysis§

Authors

  • Gina Merchant,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    • Academia Fit Project, 9245 Skypark Court, Suite 215, San Diego, CA 92123.
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    • M.A. Experimental Psychology, Doctoral Candidate in Public Health, Health Behavior.

  • Kim Pulvers,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
    • Department of Psychology, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
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    • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Master of Public Health, Assistant Professor Psychology.

  • Richard D. Brooks,

    1. Department of Psychology, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
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    • B.A. Psychology.

  • Jessica Edwards

    1. Department of Psychology, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
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    • B.A. Psychology.


  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

  • No funding sources for this project are acknowledged.

  • §

    We wish to thank James Grobe, Todd Little, James Selig, Candace Adolph, Sarah Margetta, and Jordan Carlson for their contributions to this project. We also wish to extend a special thank you to Catalin Ratiu for advising on the mixed methods analysis.

Abstract

Successfully coping with the urge to smoke is important to achieve smoking cessation. Nicotine-dependent smokers (N = 123) were placed in a tempting setting in a laboratory, and the effectiveness of various coping strategies for resisting the urge to smoke were evaluated in real time. Latency (time between exposure to lit cigarettes and report of need to smoke) was the primary-dependent variable, and coping strategies listed by participants after the smoking encounter served as predictors. There was a small positive relationship between cognitive-specific strategies, such as using positive self-talk, and latency (r = .19, p < .05), whereas there was a small negative relationship between behavioral-general strategies, such as looking out the window, and latency (r = −.23, p < .01). Counseling approaches that include teaching cognitive-specific strategies may help individuals cope with the urge to smoke. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 36:3–15, 2013

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