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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Looming Vulnerability and Smoking Cessation Attempts.

Thursday, February 13, 2020  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Haaga DAF, Kaufmann A, Malloy EJ.
Looming Vulnerability and Smoking Cessation Attempts.
Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Feb 8. pii: ntaa034. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntaa034. [Epub ahead of print]

The looming vulnerability model holds that people become anxious when they perceive threats as growing larger and accelerating toward them in space and time. Preliminary research suggested that a guided imagery induction designed to activate a sense that health consequences of smoking are a looming threat led more smokers to attempt to quit. This study tested the effect on quit attempts in a larger sample and examined age, sex, and sensation seeking as moderators.

The looming induction was the same one used in earlier work in which it had stronger effects. Those who respond to it with increased urgency about quitting smoking might be offset by others who are more reactant and deny the message. Inconsistencies across studies may reflect differences in inclusion criteria, such that the present sample were on average heavier smokers with longer smoking history and more severe nicotine dependence, yet higher self-efficacy.

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