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Keywords:

  • coping;
  • smoking;
  • cravings;
  • addiction;
  • mixed methods

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