Background: Despite its potential for usefulness in informing the development of smoking cessation interventions, short-term fluctuations in motivation to quit is a relatively understudied topic.
Objectives: To assess the prevalence of smokers' day-to-day fluctuations in motivation to quit, and to assess associations of day-to-day fluctuations in motivation to quit with several established cessation-related variables.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to smokers in Hawaii (N = 1,567). To assess short-term fluctuations in motivation to quit smoking, participants were asked to respond "True" or "False" to the statement: "My motivation to quit smoking changes from one day to the next." Other items measured desire to quit smoking, intention to quit, confidence in quitting, cigarette dependence, and other cessation-related variables.
Results: "My motivation to quit smoking changes from one day to the next" was endorsed as true by 64.7% of smokers, and false by 35.3%. Analyses revealed that smokers who indicated fluctuating motivation were significantly more interested in quitting as compared to smokers without fluctuations. Fluctuations in motivation to quit also were associated with greater confidence in quitting, lesser cigarette dependence, and more recent quitting activity (all p < .01).
Conclusions: Day-to-day fluctuations in motivation to quit are common. Day-to-day fluctuations in motivation to quit are strongly associated with higher motivation to quit, greater confidence in future quitting, and other positive cessation-relevant trends.
Keywords: Smoking cessation; changes; fluctuations; intention to quit; motivation to quit.