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Smoking Cessation Strategies 1

Smoking cessation strategies
behavioral science


Vignette: A 32-year-old woman comes to the clinic for a routine check-up. During the visit, she admits to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for the past 10 years. She is aware of the health risks associated with smoking, but states, "I've tried to quit so many times, but I just can't seem to kick the habit." She feels guilty and frustrated about her inability to quit. She has tried nicotine gum and patches in the past with no success. She asks you for advice on what else she can do to quit smoking.

Question: Which of the following behavioral change models would be the most appropriate to apply in this patient's case?


A. Precontemplation stage

B. Contemplation stage

C. Preparation stage

D. Action stage

E. Maintenance stage


C. Preparation stage


The patient is in the Preparation stage of the Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change), a model commonly used to assess readiness for behavioral change. In this model, the stages are as follows:

  1. Precontemplation: The individual is not yet considering change or is unwilling or unable to change.
  2. Contemplation: The individual acknowledges the problem and begins to think seriously about overcoming it.
  3. Preparation: The individual is getting ready to change and may take small steps toward behavior change.
  4. Action: The individual actively implements behavior change strategies.
  5. Maintenance: The individual works to consolidate gains and prevent relapse.

This patient acknowledges the negative impact of her smoking habit and has attempted to quit multiple times, indicating she is beyond the Contemplation stage. However, she has not yet succeeded in implementing a successful strategy to quit smoking, suggesting she is not yet in the Action stage. Therefore, she is in the Preparation stage. At this stage, a physician can assist by helping her design a concrete plan for quitting, providing resources for support, and discussing pharmacologic aids for smoking cessation.


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