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Health Psychol. 1992;11(5):331-4.

Smoking cessation among self-quitters.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington 05401.


We examined cessation among 630 smokers who quit abruptly on their own. Continuous, complete abstinence rates were 33% at 2 days, 24% at 7 days, 22% at 14 days, 19% at 1 month, 11% at 3 months, 8% at 6 months postcessation, and 3% at 6 months with biochemical verification. Slipping (smoking an average of less than 1 cigarette/day) was common (9% to 15% of subjects) and was a strong predictor of relapse; however, 23% of long-term abstainers slipped at some point. These results challenge beliefs that most smokers can initially stop smoking and that most relapse occurs later on postcessation.

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