‘Closet’ quit attempts: prevalence, correlates and association with outcome
Article first published online: 23 AUG 2011
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 106, Issue 12, pages 2214–2220, December 2011
How to Cite
Carpenter, M. J., Sterba, K. R., Boatright, A. S. and West, R. (2011), ‘Closet’ quit attempts: prevalence, correlates and association with outcome. Addiction, 106: 2214–2220. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03538.x
- Issue published online: 3 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 23 AUG 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 14 JUN 2011 07:34AM EST
- Submitted 9 March 2011; initial review completed 4 May 2011; final version accepted 3 June 2011
- quit attempts;
- smoking cessation;
- social support
Aims To examine the (i) prevalence, (ii) predictors and (iii) cessation outcomes of smokers who engage in undisclosed quit attempts.
Design Online survey (n = 524), with balanced recruitment of current smokers (55%) and past-year quitters (45%). Participants were daily smokers (current or previous) who had at least one quit attempt in the past year.
Measurements Respondents were grouped on whether they did versus did not make advanced disclosure to others of their most recent quit attempt.
Findings Almost half (n = 234; 45%) reported that their most recent quit attempt was undisclosed to anyone in advance. Those who planned their quit attempt in advance [odds ratio (OR) = 0.10; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.05–0.23] and those who used behavioral treatment (OR = 0.14; 95% CI: 0.05–0.43) were less likely to make ‘closet quit attempts’, while those who rated their attempt as being serious (OR = 2.52; 95% CI: 1.16–5.46) and those who deemed social support to be unhelpful (OR = 1.91; 95% CI: 1.24–2.95) were more likely to make such attempts. Closet quit attempters were more likely to achieve 30 days of abstinence than were those who made advanced disclosure (67% versus 58%; adjusted OR 1.8; 95% CI: 1.1–2.8), but there were no differences for achieving 6 months of abstinence (52% versus 49%; adjusted OR 1.2; 95% CI: 0.7–2.0).
Conclusions Attempting to quit smoking without telling anyone in advance is common, and does not appear to impede success. These findings do not support blanket advice to smokers to tell others about pending quit attempts.