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Psychol Health. 2011 Oct;26(10):1310-26. doi: 10.1080/08870446.2010.520715. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

The relative role of nicotine dependence and smoking-related cognitions in adolescents' process of smoking cessation.

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Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The present study evaluates the role of distinct components of nicotine dependence (craving, withdrawal, behavioural dependence) in comparison to smoking-related cognitions (attitudes, perceived social approval, self-efficacy) in adolescent smoking cessation. In the process towards smoking cessation, we distinguish between distinct behavioural transitions, respectively, short-term abstinence, reduction in smoking behaviour and prolonged cessation, to evaluate differences in cessation-related antecedents as a function of varying behavioural outcomes. A total of 850 adolescent smokers (age 14-16) participated in the present study. Smoking behaviour was assessed 1 year after baseline. Results showed that all dependence components had a distinct role in the prediction of behavioural change towards cessation. Furthermore, each behavioural transition was predicted by a distinct set of variables, indicating that contributions of cessation-related factors vary across the course towards cessation. Overall, our findings suggest that smoking-related cognitions are particularly relevant in the initiation of behavioural change, such as short-term abstinence, whereas nicotine dependence, craving in particular, becomes increasingly important in the prediction of maintained behavioural change, such as prolonged cessation. Implications encompass enhanced attention to the multidimensional nature of nicotine dependence and the value of comparing different behavioural outcomes in a comprehensive understanding of cessation-related factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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