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Grant Details

Grant Number: 1R15CA198838-01 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Haaga, David
Organization: American University
Project Title: Looming Vulnerability and Smoking Cessation Attempts
Fiscal Year: 2015


¿ DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Despite widespread publicity concerning negative consequences of cigarette smoking, almost one-fifth of U.S. adults are current smokers. This application aims to increase the reach of smoking cessation programs by studying a new way to motivate smokers to make quit attempts. The novel motivational approach is based on the "looming vulnerability" model of anxiety. The model proposes that anxiety arises from perceptions of a threatening stimulus as rapidly escalating or as moving closer to the person in space or time (i.e., "looming"). The proposed project is an experiment in which daily (>= 10 cigarettes/day) smokers aged 18 or over (N = 290) will be exposed to either neutral guided imagery or imagery suggesting that the negative health consequences of smoking are looming. The induction is intended to increase smokers' sense of urgency about quitting by fostering the perceptions that the health consequences of smoking are increasing and coming closer to them, as opposed to remaining stagnant, distant threats. A new self-report measure of perceiving the health consequences of smoking as "looming" will be completed after the guided imagery exercise. Participants in both conditions will be given brief written advice to quit smoking, as wel as information about free public resources for those interested in smoking cessation. At a follow-up assessment four weeks later, participants will be interviewed regarding whether they have made a quit attempt since the experimental session. Smoking rate in the intervening period will also be measured, as well as expectancies for smoking. Additional analyses will be conducted to determine whether the induction works better for women, older smokers, or smokers with particular personality characteristics. Specific aims are: Specific Aim 1: to evaluate the utility f an imagery-based induction of looming vulnerability for increasing quit attempts among current smokers. Hypothesis 1: Smokers randomly assigned to receive a looming vulnerability induction will be significantly more likely to attempt to quit in the next four weeks than will those assigne to a neutral imagery induction. Specific Aim 2: to determine whether the effect of the looming vulnerability induction on quit attempts is mediated by perception of the consequences of smoking as looming. Hypothesis 2: The looming vulnerability induction increases quit attempts relative to a neutral induction via increases in the perception that the health consequences of smoking are indeed looming. Specific Aim 3: to determine whether the effect of the looming vulnerability induction on quit attempts is moderated by visual imagery ability, sensation seeking, sex, or age.


Comparative Analysis of Alternate Measures of Readiness to Quit Smoking: Stages of Change and the Contemplation Ladder.
Authors: Miskimins K. , Kaufmann A. , Haaga D.A.F. .
Source: Substance abuse and rehabilitation, 2023; 14, p. 167-171.
EPub date: 2023-12-07.
PMID: 38089114
Related Citations

Looming Vulnerability and Smoking Cessation Attempts.
Authors: Haaga D.A.F. , Kaufmann A. , Malloy E.J. .
Source: Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 2020-08-24; 22(9), p. 1439-1445.
PMID: 32034908
Related Citations

Examining outcome expectancies for smoking vs. abstinence among adult daily smokers.
Authors: Kaufmann A. , Malloy E.J. , Haaga D.A.F. .
Source: Addictive behaviors, 2020 Mar; 102, p. 106140.
EPub date: 2019-10-15.
PMID: 31706142
Related Citations

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