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Keywords

cessation, decision making, lifestyle, motivation, personality, tobacco smoking

 

Authors

  1. Lucchiari, Claudio PhD
  2. Masiero, Marianna PhD
  3. Pravettoni, Gabriella PhD

Abstract

Abstract: Accruing evidence strongly suggests that the motivation to give up smoking is a crucial predictor of tobacco cessation attempt. However, even motivated people often fail in their attempts and relapse is very common, even if most people who smoke are confident that the desire to quit is enough to change and maintain abstinence. According to this framework, the main objective of the current study was to identify psychological and lifestyle patterns that might characterize people who smoke cigarettes with different motivations to quit. A secondary aim was to compare the characteristics of people who are currently smoking with people who stopped or never smoked. A convenient sample of 360 volunteers (179 women, 181 men), with a mean age of 55 years (SD = 14.33), participated in this study. Participants completed a battery of psychological and behavioral scales aimed at assessing psychological characteristics as well as dependence level and readiness to stop. Our results strongly suggest that the behavior of people who smoke differs as a function of specific psychological variables. People who currently smoke may fall into two different clusters: In the first one, they have a healthy lifestyle and high self-perceived vitality and vigor, whereas those who fall in the second report lower psychological well-being and an unhealthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, the actual lifestyle does not seem to modulate the motivation to quit, and consequently, people keep on smoking anyway, although some participants tend to adopt compensative behaviors. However, the adoption of a healthier lifestyle might favor a successful cessation attempt once a ready-to-stop motivation level is achieved.