Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 311–317

Nicotine Dependence as a Moderator of Message Framing Effects on Smoking Cessation Outcomes

  • Lisa M. Fucito
  • Amy E. Latimer
  • Peter Salovey
  • Benjamin A. Toll
Rapid Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s12160-010-9187-3

Cite this article as:
Fucito, L.M., Latimer, A.E., Salovey, P. et al. ann. behav. med. (2010) 39: 311. doi:10.1007/s12160-010-9187-3



The persuasiveness of gain-framed and loss-framed messages for smoking cessation may vary by smokers' characteristics. Preliminary research in non-treatment-seeking smokers has shown that level of nicotine dependence moderates the effects of framed smoking messages on quit intentions and smoking cessation attitudes. Nicotine dependence as a potential moderator of message framing effects on actual smoking outcomes among treatment-seeking smokers remains to be determined.


This secondary analysis of data from a smoking cessation trial (Psychol Addict Behav. 2007; 21: 534–544) examined nicotine dependence as a moderator of message framing effects on smoking cessation success.


Dependence scores were dichotomized into high and low dependence (n = 249).


Among high-dependent smokers, gain-framed messages were associated with higher levels of smoking abstinence both during and post-treatment than loss-framed messages. There was no differential effect of gain- versus loss-framed messages among low-dependent smokers.


These preliminary findings suggest that the effectiveness of message framing interventions for treatment-seeking smokers may vary by smokers' level of nicotine dependence.


Smoking cessationTobaccoMessage framingNicotine dependence

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa M. Fucito
    • 1
  • Amy E. Latimer
    • 2
  • Peter Salovey
    • 3
    • 4
  • Benjamin A. Toll
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.School of Kinesiology and Health StudiesQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Yale Cancer CenterNew HavenUSA