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Nicotine Tob Res. 2002;4 Suppl 2:S183-8.

Computer and manual self-help behavioral strategies for smoking reduction: initial feasibility and one-year follow-up.

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Personal Improvement Computer Systems, Inc., Reston, VA 20191, USA.


This study sought to test the feasibility of two self-help behavioral interventions to reduce and maintain a 50% reduction in smoking among those unable or unwilling to quit, and to evaluate the impact of smoking reduction on subsequent quit attempts. Ninety-three smokers who desired to reduce rather than quit smoking were entered in the study and randomly assigned to either computerized scheduled gradual reduction (CSGR) or to a manual-based selective elimination reduction (SER). Both groups produced significant reductions in smoking (approximately 10 cigarettes per day, during the 7-week treatment phase), which were maintained over one year. The CSGR group reported greater mean percent reductions in smoking from pre- to post-treatment (37% for CSGR, 20% for SER) and a greater percentage of subjects meeting the 50% reduction goal (30% for CSGR, 16% for SER) compared with the SER group. The groups were comparable, however, on all other outcome measures at post-treatment and at 6- and 12-month follow-up. Although subjects with a current desire for smoking cessation were excluded from this study, one-third of the subjects reported a 24-hour quit attempt in the year following study initiation, and 8.6% of the subjects met 7-day point-prevalence criteria for abstinence (CO validated) at the 12-month follow-up. The results of this study lend support to the feasibility of self-help behavioral interventions to produce sustained reductions in smoking rates without apparent negative impact on subsequent quit attempts.

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