Motivation to quit as a predictor of smoking cessation and abstinence maintenance among treated Spanish smokers

Addict Behav. 2016 Feb;53:40-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.09.017. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


Introduction: Although quitting motivation predicts smoking cessation, there have been inconsistent findings regarding motivation predicting long-term maintenance of abstinence. Moreover, most such research has been conducted in North America and the United Kingdom. The aim of this study was to examine motivation to quit as a predictor of smoking cessation and of abstinence maintenance in a Spanish sample.

Method: The sample comprised 286 Spanish smokers undergoing psychological treatment for smoking cessation. Motivation to quit was assessed pre-treatment and post-treatment with the Readiness to Quit Ladder. Abstinence post-treatment and at 6month follow-up was biochemically verified.

Results: Participants with higher levels of pre-treatment and post-treatment motivation were more likely to be abstinent at the end of the treatment (OR=1.36) and at 6month follow-up (OR=4.88). Among abstainers at the end of the treatment (61.9%), higher levels of motivation to quit post-treatment predicted maintaining abstinence at 6months (OR=2.83). Furthermore, participants who failed to quit smoking reported higher levels of motivation to quit post-treatment than they had pretreatment (p<.001).

Conclusions: Motivation to quit smoking predicted short and long-term cessation, and also predicted long-term maintenance of abstinence. These results have implications for understanding motivational processes of smoking cessation in general, while extending research to Spanish smokers. They may also help in the design of cessation and relapse-prevention interventions. Specifically, the results suggest that motivational enhancement is important throughout the cessation and maintenance periods.

Keywords: Maintenance abstinence; Motivation to quit; Smoking cessation; Spain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Secondary Prevention / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spain