Preventing smoking relapse, using an individually tailored skills-training technique

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1989 Jun;57(3):420-4. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.57.3.420.


The effectiveness of a relapse prevention program was studied in a population of 744 smokers. Subjects first attended an intensive 4-day series of 2-hr meetings in which they were trained to use more than 40 behavioral and cognitive smoking cessation techniques. At the 1-week follow-up session, those abstinent from smoking (79%, carbon monoxide verified) were randomly assigned to one of three follow-up conditions: (a) a three-session skills-training program in which subjects developed and actively rehearsed individually tailored coping strategies for likely relapse situations, (b) a three-session discussion control condition in which subjects discussed maintenance but did not develop or rehearse coping strategies, or (c) a no-treatment control condition. Survival analysis indicated higher abstinence rates for the skills-training group than for the control groups throughout the following year. After 12 months, the biochemically confirmed continuous abstinence rate was higher in the skills-training group (41.3%) than in the discussion and no-treatment groups (34.1% and 33.3%, respectively).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Prevention*