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Smokers Who Have a Say in How They Quit More Likely to Kick the Habit

A new study has found that smokers who have a say in how they quit are more likely to try kicking the habit, and are more successful.

The study, which is based on psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryans theory of human motivation, was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Geoffrey Williams at the University of Rochester.

The crux of Self-Determination Theory is that a self-motivated person derives more satisfaction in completing a given task, and is more likely to do it well.

As part of the study, researchers counseled patients who smoke and divided them in groups according to whether they wished to quit smoking or not.

Participants in the 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 counseling and more.

Patients in the cessation program were asked about their willingness to and confidence in quitting, their history with tobacco, general medical history, and even their life aspirations.

Smokers in the program were also encouraged to take part in developing a personalized quit plan by providing input and perspective on how smoking fit into their lives and which aspects of quitting were most daunting.

Researchers found that that smokers who were counseled in a manner that encouraged them to reflect on whether they wanted to smoke or not, and if not why they were trying to quit, were more likely to maintain their abstinence for two years than those who received usual care.

"I don't think they get enough time and I don't think they get enough input and choice into the quit plan. Our findings showed it was particularly important to promote patient choice and active participation in the plan, Williams said.

The findings of the study were presented at the University of Toronto meeting.


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