Willingness Among College Students to Help a Smoker Quit

School of Medicine, University of Minnesota's.
Journal of American College Health (Impact Factor: 1.45). 11/2008; 57(3):273-80. DOI: 10.3200/JACH.57.3.273-280
Source: PubMed


Between February and March 2003, the authors examined college students' willingness to help a smoker quit and assessed demographic and psychosocial characteristics associated with willingness to help.
Survey respondents were 701 college students (474 women, 227 men) aged 18 to 24 years who indicated there was someone close to them whom they thought should quit smoking.
Respondents completed measures of willingness to help. The authors used multivariate logistic regression analysis to examine respondent characteristics associated with willingness to help.
About half (54%; n = 381) reported that they "definitely would" be interested in helping this smoker quit. Characteristics significantly associated with willingness to help were lower levels of perceived stress, being a non-tobacco user, concern for a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse who smoked, and more severe levels of distress caused by this person's smoking.
A high percentage of college students are willing to help a smoker. Future studies are needed to engage college students who are nonsmokers in tobacco control efforts, including the Healthy Campus 2010 initiatives to reduce smoking among college students.

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    • "Understanding how social network members can assist quitters would be useful because the majority of adult smokers attempt to quit on their own (Larabie, 2005) because they do not have the inclination or time to participate in behavioral treatment programs (indeed quitlines reach only between 1% and 2% of smokers; North American Quitline Consortium, 2009). Social network members can influence smokers to seek professional help such as from quitlines (Muramoto, Wassum, Connolly, Matthews, & Floden, 2010; Patten et al., 2008), but network members are also themselves motivated to support smokers in their quit attempts in any way they can (Thomas et al., 2008), especially judging from the number of calls to quitlines by family members or friends of smokers (Zhu, Nguyen, Cummins, Wong, & Wightman, 2006). They are even willing to undergo training in order to better help family members or friends quit (Campbell, Mays, Yuan, & Muramoto, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The majority of smokers attempt to quit smoking on their own, but in any given year, only 5% or less are successful. To improve cessation rates, tapping social networks for social support during quitting has been recommended or tested in some interventions. Prior reviews of this research, however, have concluded that there is little to no evidence that partner support interventions are effective. DISCUSSION: Given the theoretical importance of the concept of social support, its demonstrated value in treatments that are implicitly supportive (e.g., telephone counseling), and the general lack of a guiding conceptual framework for research on the effects of peer or partner support for cessation, we describe theoretical models that explicitly incorporate social support constructs in predicting motivation for and success in quitting. Conclusion: Better differentiation of support concepts and elucidating causal pathways will lead to studies that demonstrate the value of social relationships in improving smokers' likelihood of cessation.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · Nicotine & Tobacco Research
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    • "Results indicate that 80% of the sample reported that they were 'very' or 'definitely' willing to help their partner to quit. Also consistent with our previous study of adolescents (Patten et al., 2004a), and young adults (Thomas et al., 2008), over 90% of the spouses of adults who smoke and are being seen for a cessation consultation were also interested in learning ways they could help. Thus, it appears that spouses might be an important target group. "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies indicate a positive association between social support and smoking cessation. However, clinic-based interventions designed to increase social support have had limited success. Most studies have relied on only the smoker's perceptions of support received while few have assessed the support provider's report of support delivered. Understanding supportive interactions between support providers and recipients may assist in developing effective support interventions for cessation. The current investigation examined the perceptions of smoking-specific support provided by the spouse of a partner who smokes and was seen for a nicotine dependence consultation. Specifically, we examined spouse reported willingness to help their spouse quit, interest in learning ways to help their spouse quit, and characteristics associated with the provision of smoking-specific supportive behaviors (as assessed via the Support Provided Measure, SPM), in the 2-weeks prior to the consultation. The current investigation also examined the concurrent validity of the SPM with a validated measure of support provided to a smoker, the Partner Interaction Questionnaire (PIQ), accounting for social desirability bias and smoker readiness to change. The sample comprised 84 adult cigarette smokers seen for a clinical smoking cessation intervention and their spouses (N = 84). Results indicate that a high percentage of spouses are willing to help their partner who smokes and interested in learning way to help. As expected, spouses who were females and had never smoked had higher scores on the SPM than males or current smokers. The SPM was significantly correlated with the PIQ positive (r = 0.50, p < 0.01) and negative (r = 0.44, p <0.01) item scales overall and for spouses whose partners reported higher levels of readiness to quit smoking (r = 0.54, p < 0.01; r = 0.50, p < 0.01, respectively). Suggestions for future research are offered.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Psychology Health and Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: This study assessed differences between Black and White young adults on prior attempts and motivation to help a smoker quit. A total of 1,621 undergraduates (912 Black, 709 White; 63% female) ages 18-24 years completed a cross-sectional survey. Overall, 54% reported they had previously tried to help someone else stop smoking (52% among Blacks vs. 58% among Whites, p=0.016). Among nonsmokers who indicated they were close to a smoker whom they thought should quit, Blacks were most often concerned about a family member whereas Whites endorsed concern most often for a friend (p<0.001). Blacks were more likely than Whites to indicate interest in learning ways to help this smoker to quit (p<0.001) but there was no significant differences on motivation level (46% of Blacks and 42% of Whites reported they were "very" or "extremely" motivated to help this person quit). After adjusting for gender, the results remained unchanged. Tobacco control efforts could focus on optimizing these supportive behaviors as well as expressed motivation and interest in helping a smoker to quit among young adult nonsmokers.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2008 · Addictive Behaviors
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