describes demographic and smoking history characteristics of the sample. contains the results from the counting analysis.
Demographic and Smoking History Characteristics of the Sample
Counting Analysis of Expectancy Concepts
Expectancy Concept 1: Pharmacologic Withdrawal
The premise of this expectancy concept was that quitting would result in the characteristic smoking withdrawal syndrome. For example, one participant said, “I’d have some mood swings.” Another participant stated, “I’d be anxious, very anxious.”
Expectancy Concept 2: Behavioral Withdrawal
This concept was marked by the expectancy that abstinence would result in the loss of an important tool to cope with negative affect (see Baker, Japuntich, Hogle, McCarthy, & Curtin, 2006
). One participant said, “I would be completely lost without cigarettes. It’s a home for me, a familiar, comforting friend.” Another participant said, “I’m scared to death of life without cigarettes. I call them security sticks.”
Expectancy Concept 3: Decreased Monetary Expense
The theme of this expectancy concept was that quitting would result in decreased financial burden. For example, one participant noted, “I’d save a couple thousand dollars a year.”
Expectancy Concept 4: Immediate Physical Functioning and Health
The common theme of this expectancy concept was that abstinence would result in conspicuous improvements in physical functioning and health shortly after the last cigarette. For example, one participant said, “I would run better, having more oxygen capacity … and also not having to be worried about getting colds or other types of respiratory infections.” Another participant stated, “My sense of smell would get a lot better and taste of food would get better.”
Expectancy Concept 5: Weight Gain
The basic principle of this concept was that abstinence would occasion weight gain. One participant expressed, “I would just start eating … and gain nine-hundred pounds.”
Expectancy Concept 6: Improved Attractiveness
The common theme of this category was that quitting smoking would result in the improvement of one’s attractiveness. Participants often illustrated this expectancy by describing the detrimental effects that smoking currently has on their presentation to others. For instance, one participant said, “Someone may not want to kiss me because of how my breath smells or tastes.” Another participant endorsed the expectation that she would “smell better,” and that her “teeth wouldn’t get stained.”
Expectancy Concept 7: Enhanced Social Functioning/Self-esteem
Respondents commented that abstinence would enhance interpersonal relationships and self-esteem. Participants indicated that this would occur because smoking is a salient social stigma. Several participants indicated that they would look forward to no longer being treated like an “outcast” upon ceasing cigarette use. Some participants noted that quitting smoking would improve self-esteem because it represents a significant accomplishment. For example, one participant said, “I would have some sense of self-control and self-discipline if I quit.”
Expectancy Concept 8: Long-term Health Outcomes
Participants endorsed the expectancy that quitting would improve their long-term health outcomes. For example, one participant stated, “Health would improve. As the time goes on, basic health improvements would long extend your life.” A minority of participants expressed doubt that quitting would have a positive impact on their long-term health outcomes. These participants stated that because they have used cigarettes for such a long period of time, they anticipated that it would be “too late” for abstinence to have a beneficial effect on their health.
Expectancy Concept 9: Loss of Relationships
This concept was marked by the expectancy that quitting would have a negative impact on certain relationships that center on smoking behavior. One participant stated, “I’ve been introduced to people by just hanging around the ashtray … so there would be a certain blow to your social life or business life.” Another participant said, “You’re gonna be not able to click with the rest of the group … you’ll be the odd one.”
Expectancy Concept 10: Loss of Positive Reinforcement
The common theme of this category was that quitting smoking would represent the loss of an important pleasurable activity. Participants took care to mention the specific aspects of the act of smoking that they would miss. For example, one participant indicated, “I would probably miss the taste.” Another mentioned, “I would still miss something, the hand to mouth, and the nicotine.”
Expectancy Concept 11: Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Effectiveness
The principle of this concept was that NRT represents a valuable aid to smoking cessation. Participants reported that NRT would control cravings to smoke and increase the likelihood of a successful quit attempt. For instance, one participant said, “If I was having a nicotine fit, the gum would calm me down and it would help.” However, one participant stated that NRT would have little bearing on the outcomes of abstinence.
Expectancy Concept 12: Alcohol and Other Drug Use
This concept was marked by the expectancy that alcohol or other psychoactive substances would be used to compensate for the absence of smoking. For example, one participant said, “I’d expect to smoke more marijuana … as a crutch to get over smoking.” Another participant stated, “[I would drink more] coffee. It’s like a trip, going from one addiction to another … to make up for what you did.”
Expectancy Concept 13: Cue Reactivity
The central theme of this category was the expectancy that, upon quitting, certain smoking-related cues (e.g., locations or activities) would elicit urges to smoke. Participants illustrated this expectancy by describing the motivational influence of environmental “triggers.” For instance, one participant said, “For me to see somebody light up a cigarette, oh boy that looks like the best … the next thing I know, I’m grabbing a pack.”
Expectancy Concept 14: Cessation-related Social Support
The expectancy expressed by this category was that family, friends, and co-workers would be supportive of a quit attempt. For example, one participated noted, “People would support me by not smoking around me.” However, one participant stated, “I’d like to hear some positive feedback and support from those people when I quit smoking, but … I don’t feel like there’s enough of that.” Thus, not all participants indicated that their social network would facilitate their quit attempt.
Expectancy Concept 15: Aversion to Smoking
The theme of this expectancy concept was that smoking would lose its appeal over the course of abstinence and would eventually elicit automatic feelings of disgust. For instance, one participant indicated that as a consequence of abstinence, the smell of a cigarette would induce nausea.
Expectancy Concept 16: “Political Process” Implications
The general notion of this expectancy category was that quitting is associated with certain sociopolitical implications. For example, one participant indicated that quitting would be a welcomed opportunity to “stick it to Big Tobacco.” Another participant stated that, despite quitting smoking, he would continue to support the right to use cigarettes: “Everywhere I go you shouldn’t smoke … that’s all I get. [But] it’s all up to you. If you want to smoke and if you’re able to smoke, do it.”