Stress and Quitting Among African American Smokers
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This study examined the relationship between stress and the likelihood of quitting among 300 urban African American smokers enrolled in the placebo arm of a controlled randomized trial assessing the efficacy of bupropion for smoking cessation. Participants were predominantly female, middle-aged, and of lower income. Participants received 7 weeks of placebo treatment and counseling as well as a self-help guide. Quit status and stress, measured with the Perceived Stress Scale and an adapted Hassles Index, were assessed at baseline, end of treatment, and 6 month follow-up. Results indicated that although baseline stress did not predict quitting at later visits, higher concurrent stress levels were associated with not being abstinent. Furthermore, changes (reductions) in perceived stress from baseline also predicted abstinence at the end of treatment. Results suggest that methods to help African Americans cope with stress as they attempt to quit smoking may prevent relapse to smoking.