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qualitative research, smoking, smoking cessation, social support



  1. Andersen, J. Susan
  2. Owen, Donna C.


Background: Some cigarette smokers report supportive people from their social network are helpful when they attempt to quit smoking.


Objective: This qualitative study set out to explain the process of quitting smoking cigarettes, with specific attention to the question of whether the help of another person was important.


Methods: Grounded theory was used. Participants were volunteers who responded to a flier posted on a health sciences center campus. Purposeful sampling was used as data were analyzed. Transcripts of interviews conducted with 16 participants of diverse demographic backgrounds were analyzed.


Results: Interpretive analysis of coded transcripts revealed three major guiding constructs supporting the process of finding a helper to quit smoking: (a) seeking out helper qualities, (b) building a helping relationship, and (c) constructing the environment.


Conclusion: The use of a helping relationship for smoking cessation was important for smokers in the study to successfully quit. A very salient quality, constructing the environment, emerged as one of the most important aspects of the process of quitting smoking.