Objective: To rigorously test the relation between perceived risk (i.e., belief about the likelihood of harm) and quitting smoking.
Methods: Data from a longitudinal study with a nonrestrictive sample of smokers (N = 4307) from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia were examined to predict quitting behaviors at 8-12 months.
Results: Perceived risk predicted plans to quit, quit attempts, and, to some extent, sustained quitting. The relation was stronger for relatively simple (e.g., plans to quit) than for complex behaviors (e.g., sustained quitting).
Conclusion: Perceived risk plays a significant role in predicting quitting smoking, more so for relatively simple behaviors.