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 sup port person was a particularly effective strategy for those with smoking or nonsupportive spouses.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was a project of the Minnesota Heart Health Program, grant HL-25523 from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of NIH; Henry Blackburn. MD. Principal Investigator, 1980-1990: Russell Luepker. MD, Principal Investigator, 1990-1993. Address reprint requests to Phyllis L. Pirie, PhD. Division of Epidemiology, 1300 South Second St.. Suite 300, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. MN 55354. The work described in this report was conducted at the liniversity of Minnesota.
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