quit smoking

according to a recent article in medical news today, a team of researchers led by dr. geoffrey williams of the university of rochester found that smokers who were counseled in a manner that encouraged them to reflect on whether they wanted to smoke and why they were trying to quit, were more likely to maintain their abstinence for two years than those who received usual care.

the theoretical underpinnings of this is a theory of motivation called self-determination theory, developed by university of rochester psychologists edward deci and richard ryan.

patients in this cessation program were asked about their willingness to and confidence in quitting, their general medical and smoking history, and life aspirations.

smokers were encouraged to develop a personalized quit plan by providing input and perspective on how smoking fit into their lives and which aspects of quitting were most daunting.

participants in a control group were simply given a list of quit resources in the community and were encouraged to visit their doctors for help, while participants in the special program received one-on-one counselling and more.

the support and choice patients received in the program resulted in a greater motivation to quit, willingness to try medications, higher levels of commitment to quit plans, and ultimately, more successes. williams said the cessation plan offered additional support to smokers that a typical doctor’s office doesn’t.

the method has also been successful for patients managing diabetes, weight loss, and dental care.

interestingly, this is how i have always worked with people. i must confess that i was not familiar with self-determination theory. it does remind me of motivational interviewing – and i am certainly familiar with self-determination practice!

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

17 thoughts on “quit smoking

  1. Leah J. Utas

    It sounds the smokers who got the extras became invested in their lives and quitting that much more. And on some level the one-on-one work showed them someone cared.
    I smoked for 10 years so I know about quitting. I did it on my own 27 years ago. I’m not sure what this kind of extra care would have done for me, but I’m glad this sort of thing happens nows.

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  3. Anthony Marquis

    There’s so much help available today.

    Just take a look at the TV commercials, ask your GP and you’ll get all the help you need including counseling (if you need it).

    I suppose it makes sense for the government to spend money on these adverts and to supply us with the necessary treatments, as it’s much cheaper to prevent the deceases that are related to smoking than it is afterwards.

    Let’s face it, it costs a fortune to care for cancer patients due to smoking.

    I really believe it should be illegal. Smoking equals Death and suffering – as far as I can see it.

  4. dev

    i remember as a child when we gave the looks to my dad everytime he wanted to smoke or whenever we saw him and nagged to him about how he smells like cigs, support is important from others around us but it is still the will power that does the job to quit the habit:)

  5. isabella mori

    the above research report states that smokers were “more likely” to quit when they thought about their motivation and had support. it doesn’t say “everyone who thinks about their motivation and has support will quit.” in the end, it’s a very individual thing and there is no “one size fits all.”

    so support works for some, for some nagging is seen as support …

    about the willpower – that’s an interesting topic. what IS willpower? it’s not some magical force of nature that just happens. it’s a combination of innate personality traits, environmental influences and learned behaviour. and then – this mysterious thing called willpower doesn’t seem to work with everything for every person. addictions are notoriously immune to willpower.

  6. isabella mori

    @anthony, i only saw your comment just now; it was about to be swallowed by my spam program but i rescued it in time!

    should smoking be illegal? that’s a good question. smoking used to be a pastime and as such i think it’s no more harmless than any other recreational drug. a natural cigarette once or twice a day, why not (there’s how many chemicals in cigarettes? 3000?). that’s a far cry from a pack of cigarettes a day, laced with carcinogens left, right and centre.

  7. Mike

    Great ideas to stop smoking. I will be using them myself. After 10 years and 2 packs a day, I cant afford to buy cigarettes anymore.

  8. claire @ wheatgrass juice

    I have tried to give up smoking sooooo many times its just not funny any more!! The nearest I came to succeeding was with a GP prescription for zyban. Unfortunately I think i’m one of those people to whom support would make no difference. The support isnt there for me 1st thing in the morning to help me resist, nor is it there after each meal/stressful occasion. I’m glad it works for some people but for me i think the only solution left is to be locked alone in room for 2 weeks!! :o(

    claire @ wheatgrass juice’s last blog post..Adult Acne Treatment

  9. Janni

    People just do an internet search and browse photos of human lungs totaly destroyed from smoking and i am sure that you will stop it.

  10. wheatgrass

    I think this principle applies to more than just smoking- the same can go for weight loss, and all sorts of other life decisions. You need to actually consider your motivations!

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