Skip to main content
placeholder image

Measured, opportunistic, unexpected and naïve quitting: a qualitative grounded theory study of the process of quitting from the ex-smokers’ perspective

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • Background

    To better understand the process of quitting from the ex-smokers’ perspective, and to explore the role spontaneity and planning play in quitting.

    Methods

    Qualitative grounded theory study using in-depth interviews with 37 Australian adult ex-smokers (24–68 years; 15 males, 22 females) who quit smoking in the past 6–24 months (26 quit unassisted; 11 used assistance).

    Results

    Based on participants’ accounts of quitting, we propose a typology of quitting experiences: measured, opportunistic, unexpected and naïve. Two key features integral to participants’ accounts of their quitting experiences were used as the basis of the typology: (1) the apparent onset of quitting (gradual through to sudden); and (2) the degree to which the smoker appeared to have prepared for quitting (no evidence through to clear evidence of preparation). The resulting 2 × 2 matrix of quitting experiences took into consideration three additional characteristics: (1) the presence or absence of a clearly identifiable trigger; (2) the amount of effort (cognitive and practical) involved in quitting; and (3) the type of cognitive process that characterised the quitting experience (reflective; impulsive; reflective and impulsive).

    Conclusions

    Quitting typically included elements of spontaneity (impulsive behaviour) and preparation (reflective behaviour), and, importantly, the investment of time and cognitive effort by participants prior to quitting. Remarkably few participants quit completely out-of-the-blue with little or no preparation. Findings are discussed in relation to stages-of-change theory, catastrophe theory, and dual process theories, focusing on how dual process theories may provide a way of conceptualising how quitting can include elements of both spontaneity and preparation.

UOW Authors


  •   Smith, Andrea L. (external author)
  •   Carter, Stacy
  •   Dunlop, Sally M. (external author)
  •   Freeman, Becky (external author)
  •   Chapman, Simon (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Smith, A. L., Carter, S. M., Dunlop, S. M., Freeman, B. & Chapman, S. (2017). Measured, opportunistic, unexpected and naïve quitting: a qualitative grounded theory study of the process of quitting from the ex-smokers’ perspective. BMC Public Health, 17 (1), 430-440.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85019091968

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4768&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3759

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 10

Start Page


  • 430

End Page


  • 440

Volume


  • 17

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • Background

    To better understand the process of quitting from the ex-smokers’ perspective, and to explore the role spontaneity and planning play in quitting.

    Methods

    Qualitative grounded theory study using in-depth interviews with 37 Australian adult ex-smokers (24–68 years; 15 males, 22 females) who quit smoking in the past 6–24 months (26 quit unassisted; 11 used assistance).

    Results

    Based on participants’ accounts of quitting, we propose a typology of quitting experiences: measured, opportunistic, unexpected and naïve. Two key features integral to participants’ accounts of their quitting experiences were used as the basis of the typology: (1) the apparent onset of quitting (gradual through to sudden); and (2) the degree to which the smoker appeared to have prepared for quitting (no evidence through to clear evidence of preparation). The resulting 2 × 2 matrix of quitting experiences took into consideration three additional characteristics: (1) the presence or absence of a clearly identifiable trigger; (2) the amount of effort (cognitive and practical) involved in quitting; and (3) the type of cognitive process that characterised the quitting experience (reflective; impulsive; reflective and impulsive).

    Conclusions

    Quitting typically included elements of spontaneity (impulsive behaviour) and preparation (reflective behaviour), and, importantly, the investment of time and cognitive effort by participants prior to quitting. Remarkably few participants quit completely out-of-the-blue with little or no preparation. Findings are discussed in relation to stages-of-change theory, catastrophe theory, and dual process theories, focusing on how dual process theories may provide a way of conceptualising how quitting can include elements of both spontaneity and preparation.

UOW Authors


  •   Smith, Andrea L. (external author)
  •   Carter, Stacy
  •   Dunlop, Sally M. (external author)
  •   Freeman, Becky (external author)
  •   Chapman, Simon (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Smith, A. L., Carter, S. M., Dunlop, S. M., Freeman, B. & Chapman, S. (2017). Measured, opportunistic, unexpected and naïve quitting: a qualitative grounded theory study of the process of quitting from the ex-smokers’ perspective. BMC Public Health, 17 (1), 430-440.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85019091968

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4768&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3759

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 10

Start Page


  • 430

End Page


  • 440

Volume


  • 17

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom