Incorporating biomarkers of exposure and genetic susceptibility into smoking cessation treatment: effects on smoking-related cognitions, emotions, and behavior change

Health Psychol. 1997 Jan;16(1):87-99. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.16.1.87.


In this article the authors report on the short-term impact of incorporating biomarker feedback about exposure and genetic susceptibility into minimal-contact quit-smoking counseling (QSC). Four hundred and twenty-seven smokers were randomized to 1 of 3 treatments: (a) QSC, (b) QSC + exposure biomarker feedback (EBF) about carbon monoxide in exhaled breath, or (b) QSC + EBF + biomarker feedback about genetic susceptibility to lung cancer (SBF). We observed significant immediate positive effects of SBF, compared with EBF and QSC on perceived risk, perceived quitting benefits, and fear arousal. However, at the 2-month follow-up, there were no group differences in quit rates. SBF did lead to significant reductions in the number of cigarettes smoked for smokers who were in the preparation stage. Smokers in the EBF and QSC conditions showed reductions in depressive symptoms by 2 months, but smokers in the SBF condition did not. In the context of QSC, genetic feedback may heighten vulnerability and possibly promote distress, but may not immediately enhance quitting in most smokers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Breath Tests
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Program Evaluation
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Truth Disclosure*


  • Biomarkers
  • Carbon Monoxide