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Psychol Addict Behav. 2015 Mar;29(1):122-8. doi: 10.1037/adb0000017. Epub 2014 Aug 18.

Using ecological measures of smoking trigger exposure to predict smoking cessation milestones.

Author information

Butler Hospital.
Rutgers University, School of Management and Labor Relations.
Department of Psychology, Rutgers University.


This study used ecological momentary assessment data from adult daily smokers attempting to quit smoking to assess relations between exposure to contextual risk factors and cessation failure, latency to a first smoking lapse, or progression from lapse to relapse (smoking 7 days in a row). Participants were adult, daily smokers enrolled in a randomized controlled clinical trial of bupropion SR and individual counseling who were followed to 1 year postquit. Participants reported exposure to high-risk contexts and behaviors, including being where cigarettes were available or smoking was permitted, being around others smoking in prospective, real-time assessment for 2 weeks pre- and 4 weeks postquit. Results showed that greater exposure to contextual risk factors during the prequit did not predict cessation failure. However, Cox regression survival analyses revealed that spending a greater proportion of time where cigarettes were easily available following at least 1 day of abstinence predicted shorter latency to a first lapse, even after controlling for baseline risk factors such as gender, nicotine dependence, depressive symptoms, and living with a smoker. Greater cigarette availability following a lapse was not associated with progression from lapse to relapse with or without baseline risk factors in the model. This suggests that postquit environmental risk factors, such as cigarette availability, increase lapse risk, and stable risk factors, such as living with smokers and higher baseline carbon monoxide level or depressive symptoms, remain potent predictors of progression to relapse. Real-time contextual risk assessments postquit predict lapse above and beyond stable, baseline risk factors. (PsycINFO Database Record.

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