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Health Psychol. 1996 Nov;15(6):455-61.

Temptations to smoke after quitting: a comparison of lapsers and maintainers.

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Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


This study addresses whether characteristics of temptations to smoke differ for participants who quit smoking and maintain abstinence compared to those who quit and then lapse. Participants used hand-held computers to record temptations and were beeped at random for base-rate assessments. We used generalized estimating equations to compare 1,851 temptation episodes and 5,192 random assessments recorded by 151 participants (116 lapsers, 35 maintainers) over 1-23 days of abstinence. Compared to randomly sampled occasions, temptations were marked by greater negative affect, restlessness, attention disturbance, and exposure to smoking cues; participants were also more likely to be eating or drinking during temptations. Temptations reported by lapsers and maintainers did not differ in any respect, including their reported coping. The results highlight situational variance over individual differences.

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