Predictors of smoking relapse by duration of abstinence: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey
Version of Record online: 9 NOV 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 104, Issue 12, pages 2088–2099, December 2009
How to Cite
Herd, N., Borland, R. and Hyland, A. (2009), Predictors of smoking relapse by duration of abstinence: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey. Addiction, 104: 2088–2099. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02732.x
- Issue online: 9 NOV 2009
- Version of Record online: 9 NOV 2009
- Submitted 19 November 2008; initial review completed 3 February 2009; final version accepted 6 July 2009
- outcome expectancies;
Aim To explore predictors of smoking relapse and how predictors vary according to duration of abstinence.
Design, setting and participants A longitudinal survey of 1296 ex-smokers recruited as part of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and United States).
Measurements Quitters were interviewed by telephone at varying durations of abstinence (from 1 day to approximately 3 years) and then followed-up approximately 1 year later. Theorized predictors of relapse (i.e. urges to smoke; outcome expectancies of smoking and quitting; and abstinence self-efficacy) and nicotine dependence were measured in the survey.
Findings Relapse was associated with lower abstinence self-efficacy and a higher frequency of urges to smoke, but only after the first month or so of quitting. Both these measures mediated relationships between perceived benefits of smoking and relapse. Perceived costs of smoking and benefits of quitting were unrelated to relapse.
Conclusions Challenging perceived benefits of smoking may be an effective way to increase abstinence self-efficacy and reduce frequency of urges to smoke (particularly after the initial weeks of quitting), in order to reduce subsequent relapse risk.