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Addict Behav. 1997 Jan-Feb;22(1):131-7.

Incorporating social support into a community-wide smoking-cessation contest.

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Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55454, USA.


Social support for smoking cessation has been identified as a key factor differentiating which individuals are most likely to quit smoking. Attempts to enhance social support in clinic-based programs have generally been unsuccessful. This study investigated a strategy for increasing the involvement of supportive others among participants in a community-based smoking-cessation contest. These smokers were undertaking quit attempts without the supportive environment offered in clinic-based group programs. Subjects included 734 adult smokers who had participated in a smoking-cessation contest in their local community. Contest participants had the option of designating a "support person" who would assist them in quitting smoking and be eligible for prizes if the participant was a contest winner. Follow-up was by telephone survey 3 months after the end of the contest. No differences were observed in demographic or smoking history variables between those who did and did not elect to name a support person. A relatively high proportion (60%) of contest participants elected to identify a support person and self-reported smoking-cessation rates were significantly better among those who named a support person than among those who did not. Identifying a support person was a particularly effective strategy for those with smoking or nonsupportive spouses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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