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J Health Psychol. 2016 Aug;21(8):1644-54. doi: 10.1177/1359105314560917. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Self-report distortions of puffing topography in daily smokers.

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University of Manchester Medical School, UK


Under-reporting tobacco consumption is common, although there is lack of evidence whether under-reporting is associated with health risk perception. In this study, smoking topography from 110 smokers was recorded over 24 hours, aiming to capture a representative average of smoking behaviour. Participants significantly under-reported the duration of secondary exposure, and there was a significant interaction between self-report distortion type and risk perception. Analysis showed that smokers under-reporting puff number declared perceiving significantly less susceptibility to acquiring airway diseases, which is correlating significantly with the level of under-reporting. The present findings may suggest that under-reporting smoking behaviour has psychological functions beyond achieving social desirability.


self-report distortions; smoking topography; susceptibility to airway disease; time perception

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