Motivations for smoking cessation: A comparison of successful quitters and failures

Michael T. Halpern, Kenneth E. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


To foster successful smoking cessation, public health professionals need to understand better the reasons why smokers quit smoking. Although researchers have studied smokers' characteristics that may predict smoking cessation, few studies have examined the relationships between reasons stated for quitting and successful smoking cessation. We examined six reasons for smoking cessation and their association with successfully quitting among approximately 7,700 current and former smokers who participated in the 1986 Adult Use of Tobacco Survey (AUTS). Using logistic regression analysis, we found that successful cessation was associated with having personal concerns regarding the health effects of smoking and with wanting to set a good example for children. In contrast, concerns about the cost of smoking, the effect of smoking on others, and pressure from friends and family to quit were associated with decreased likelihoods of cessation. Furthermore, the relative importance of a reason (somewhat important vs. very important) also influenced the association of that reason with smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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