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Addict Behav. 2000 May-Jun;25(3):373-85.

Clusters of precontemplating smokers defined by the perception of the pros, cons, and self-efficacy.

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Maastricht University.


Western smoker populations contain high percentages of smokers who are not motivated to quit. In order to develop self-help smoking cessation interventions for these smokers, it is of importance to know whether there are subtypes among this group. In the present study, cluster analysis was used to search for clusters of precontemplating smokers. The clusters were described by three cognitive clustering variables: the pros of quitting, the cons of quitting, and self-efficacy expectations. On the basis of earlier studies, three cluster solutions were tested: the 3-, 4-, and 5-cluster solutions. To cross-validate the findings, data from two independently recruited samples of precontemplating smokers were used. Three clusters, which were found in earlier studies in the United States, were replicated. In the present study these were called Unmotivated Pessimists, Motivated Pessimists, and Disengaged. Two additional clusters were identified, which might be typical for the tolerant Dutch smoking culture: Unmotivated Optimists and Motivated Optimists. It is argued that the replicated types are more nicotine-dependent and resistant to change, and represent the hard core smoker population, and that both optimistic types are less dependent, less resistant smokers who will quit with increasing societal anti-smoking pressure. Longitudinal analyses showed that cluster membership was predictive of increases in intention to quit and quitting activity.

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