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Perceived Risk and Quitting Behaviors: Results From the ITC 4-Country Survey

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Objective: To rigorously test the relation between perceived risk (ie, belief about the likelihood of harm) and quitting smoking. Methods: Data from a longitudinal study with a nonrestrictive sample of smokers (N = 4307) from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia were examined to predict quitting behaviors at 8-12 months. Results: Perceived risk predicted plans to quit, quit attempts, and, to some extent, sustained quitting. The relation was stronger for relatively simple (eg, plans to quit) than for complex behaviors (eg, sustained quitting). Conclusion: Perceived risk plays a significant role in predicting quitting smoking, more so for relatively simple behaviors.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. [email protected] 2: Renison University College, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 3: Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 4: School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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