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Cancer Control Research

5R21CA098962-02
Mccaul, Kevin D.
THOUGHT, AFFECT, AND MOTIVATION TO QUIT SMOKING

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Most research on cigarette smoking cessation has addressed ways to improve the chances that smokers trying to quit will be successful. Researchers have paid much less attention to motivating cessation attempts among smokers less interested in quitting. Available evidence suggests that the strongest motivator of quit attempts is "concern" about one's health. However, very little is known about the nature of such concerns, including whether they must be accompanied by negative affect in order to motivate interest in cessation. To address this gap in our knowledge, we propose two different studies. Both experiments will include college students and community residents who are daily cigarette smokers. In Study 1, 45 students and 45 community residents will carry PalmPilots TM for two weeks of daily recording. An additional 30 smokers will complete end-of-week recordings to provide for an assessment of reactive effects of the daily monitoring activities. We wilt use event-contingent (tied to smoking a cigarette), signal-contingent (random intervals during the day), and interval-contingent (end of day) self-recording to elicit smokers' thoughts about smoking and worry. This study will be one of the first to assess the frequency with which these kinds of thoughts and feelings occur during the daily lives of smokers. In a second study, 60 college student smokers and 60 community residents will be signaled multiple times per day, on a random schedule, for two weeks. When signaled, they will turn on a PalmPilot TM that carries one of two sets of instructions: a) to remember a message about the negative (e.g., immediate health, social, and long-term health) consequences of smoking, or b) to remember a message about hassles associated with day-to-day life. We expect that the smoking consequences reminders may have little effect on beliefs about smoking, including risk perceptions. However, we predict that the reminders of smoking consequences will increase worry about smoking and motivation to quit. Together, these studies will inform us about how worry relates to the experience of smoking cigarettes and beliefs and feelings about quitting. The data will have implications for constructing risk messages and for how health professionals might encourage quit attempts among the millions of Americans who continue to smoke.


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