Motivating smokers in the hospital pulmonary function laboratory to quit smoking by use of the lung age concept

Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 Nov;13(11):1161-6. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr096. Epub 2011 May 6.


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of lung age to motivate a quit attempt among smokers presenting to a hospital pulmonary function testing (PFT) laboratory.

Methods: Participants were randomized to receive a lung age-based motivational strategy (intervention group) versus standard care (control group). At 1 month, all participants were interviewed by telephone to determine whether they made a quit attempt.

Results: A total of 67 participants were enrolled, and 51 completed the study. Baseline mean data included age = 52 years, 70% women, 40 pack-years of smoking, FEV(1) = 69% predicted, and lung age = 83 years. The quit attempt rates were not different between the intervention and control groups (32% vs. 24%, respectively, p = .59). There was a near significant interaction between lung age and intervention strategy (p = .089), with quit attempt rates among those with normal lung age of 18% in the intervention group versus 33% in the control group and among those with high (worse) lung age of 39% in the intervention group versus 17% in the control group; p = .38.

Conclusions: Using lung age to motivate smokers presenting to the PFT laboratory to quit may succeed in patients with high lung age but may undermine motivation in smokers with normal lung age. Further work is needed to refine the approach to smokers with normal lung age.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / psychology
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Laboratories, Hospital
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Lung Diseases / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Smoking / physiopathology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires