Relapse and risk perception among members of a smoking cessation clinic

Health Psychol. 1991;10(1):42-5. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.10.1.42.


Assessed perceptions of the health risks associated with smoking in comparison with not smoking among members of smoking cessation clinics. We measured these perceptions at three different time periods during the clinic, and then again at a 6-month follow-up. Results indicated that members who were abstinent at the follow-up had lowered their perceptions of the likelihood of contracting smoking-related illnesses (e.g., emphysema) if they were not smoking. In contrast, those who had relapsed lowered their perceptions of the health risks associated with smoking, but not their perceptions of nonsmoking disease vulnerability. The implications of these changes in risk perception for therapy involvement are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking / therapy*