Strike while the iron is hot: can stepped-care treatments resurrect relapsing smokers?

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2001 Jun;69(3):429-39. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.69.3.429.


The efficacies of 2 group counseling step-up treatments for smoking cessation, cognitive-behavioral/skill training therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing/supportive (MIS) therapy, were compared with brief intervention (BI) treatment in a sample of 677 smokers. Differential efficacy of the 2 step-up treatments was also tested in smokers at low and high risk for relapse (no smoking vs. any smoking during the first postquit week. respectively). All participants received 8 weeks of nicotine patch therapy. BI consisted of 3 brief individual cessation counseling sessions; CBT and MIS participants received BI treatment and 6 group counseling sessions. Neither CBT nor MIS treatment improved long-term abstinence rates relative to BI. Limited support was found for the hypothesis that high-risk smokers would benefit more from MIS than CBT. Other hypotheses were not supported.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Psychotherapy, Brief*
  • Psychotherapy, Group*
  • Recurrence
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology


  • Nicotine