Relapse remains a frequent and complex phenomenon that is not yet well understood. An under-researched area of study that may provide relevant information concerns the assessment of specific post-treatment variables, rather than the composite measures commonly used to predict smoking relapse. The current study sought to examine the effects of post-treatment smoking-related variables, including withdrawal symptomatology, abstinence self-efficacy, and smoking urgency in negative-affect situations and smoking relapse at the 3 month follow-up. The sample comprised 130 participants who achieved abstinence for at least 24 h through a cognitive-behavioral smoking cessation treatment. Regression analysis was conducted for both composite measures and specific subscales and items. Data showed that composite measures of tobacco withdrawal, self-efficacy, and smoking urgency in negative-affect situations were not significant predictors of smoking relapse. However, the analysis including subscales, and specific items showed that lower self-efficacy in negative-affect-related situations (OR = 1.36) and three withdrawal symptoms—irritability/frustration/anger (OR = 2.99), restlessness/impatience (OR = 1.87), and craving (OR = 2.31)—were significant predictors of relapse. These findings offer new insights into the role of different smoking-related post-treatment variables in short-term relapse. Considering and specifically targeting these variables after achieving abstinence may potentially contribute to reducing smoking relapse.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited