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Evaluation of a smoking typology by use of a specific behavioral substitution method of self control

, : Evaluation of a smoking typology by use of a specific behavioral substitution method of self control. Behaviour Research & Therapy 20(3): 279-288

A situational smoking typology was validated by testing its efficacy in designing reduction strategies. Volunteer smokers (24) were scored on a Situational Smoking Questionnaire which allowed smokers to be classified into high- and low-activity groups on the basis of main cravings. High-activity smokers were further classified into those who smoked either under emotional stress or to aid concentration; low-activity smokers were subdivided into those who smoked to relieve boredom or to relax. From this situational model of motivation, alternative behavioral strategies tailored to smokers specific situational demands were devised that might achieve the same effect as smoking and so aid reduction. Smokers were than allocated at random and 1 of 3 treatment groups: a behavioral substitution group where alternative relaxation, emotional coping and distraction activities were rehearsed according to hierarchy of situational targets; a generalized coverant approach where emphasis was placed on generalized beliefs about smoking effects rather than situational ones and a no-treatment control group, where subjects only self-monitored their smoking over the treatment period. Smokers completed weekly diaries for baseline, 4 treatment sessions and 2- and 8-mo. follow-up periods. Both treatment groups showed a reduction in smoking levels over treatment sessions, but the behavioral group maintained a significantly lower level on session 4 and at follow-up. Those smokers initially classified as high-activity smokers benefited most from the behavioral program. Measures of attitude towards smoking behavior changed most significantly in the coverant group. The coverant approach appeared to increase motivation to cut down and might in future studies be effectively employed together with the behavioral method. A differential situational model of smoking effects might be a more valid basis than the usual fixed effect pharmacological model for the development of cessation program.

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