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Addict Behav. 2006 Apr;31(4):717-21. Epub 2005 Jun 27.

Tobacco chippers report diminished autonomy over smoking.

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  • 1University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Worcester 01655, United States.


We assessed tobacco chippers (n=35) for symptoms of diminished autonomy over tobacco use, which begins when symptoms present a barrier to smoking cessation. Although they reported each of the symptoms measured by the Hooked on Nicotine Checklist, chippers' level of autonomy was generally higher than that of regular smokers and their symptom intensity was low. The rank order of symptom prevalence in chippers and regular smokers was similar, and 40% of chippers had failed at least one cessation attempt. Only 23% of chippers reported full autonomy over their smoking. Although chippers may not warrant a dependence diagnosis, they may benefit from help with cessation. Autonomy over smoking may be a more useful basis than cigarette consumption rates for classifying smokers.

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