Background: The persuasiveness of gain-framed and loss-framed messages for smoking cessation may vary by smokers' characteristics. Preliminary research in non-treatment-seeking smokers has shown that level of nicotine dependence moderates the effects of framed smoking messages on quit intentions and smoking cessation attitudes. Nicotine dependence as a potential moderator of message framing effects on actual smoking outcomes among treatment-seeking smokers remains to be determined.
Purpose: This secondary analysis of data from a smoking cessation trial (Psychol Addict Behav. 2007; 21: 534-544) examined nicotine dependence as a moderator of message framing effects on smoking cessation success.
Methods: Dependence scores were dichotomized into high and low dependence (n = 249).
Results: Among high-dependent smokers, gain-framed messages were associated with higher levels of smoking abstinence both during and post-treatment than loss-framed messages. There was no differential effect of gain- versus loss-framed messages among low-dependent smokers.
Conclusion: These preliminary findings suggest that the effectiveness of message framing interventions for treatment-seeking smokers may vary by smokers' level of nicotine dependence.