Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 309–319

Life 1 Year After a Quit Attempt: Real-Time Reports of Quitters and Continuing Smokers

  • Tanya R. Schlam
  • Megan E. Piper
  • Jessica W. Cook
  • Michael C. Fiore
  • Timothy B. Baker
Original Article



Smokers are often reluctant to quit because they fear long-lasting withdrawal. Yet little research prospectively examines smokers’ withdrawal longer than 1 month post-quit.


The aim of this study was to compare successful versus unsuccessful quitters’ withdrawal, positive affect/pleasure, and lifestyle at 1 year post-quit.


Smokers (N = 572) in a cessation trial completed ecological momentary assessments four times a day for 1 week pre-quit, 1 week post-quit, and 1 week at 1 year post-quit.


From pre-quit to 1 year later, only quitters reported sizeable declines in craving and restlessness, and fewer stressful events. At 1 year, quitters, on average, reported no significant craving. Continuing smokers reduced their cigarette consumption considerably from pre-quit to 1 year later.


Contrary to smokers’ worries, long-term quitters reported less craving and restlessness than when they smoked (perhaps because cessation eliminates the acute nicotine withdrawal smokers experience between cigarettes). This information may encourage smokers to quit and endure withdrawal.


Smoking Smoking cessation Withdrawal Craving Ecological momentary assessment 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya R. Schlam
    • 1
  • Megan E. Piper
    • 1
  • Jessica W. Cook
    • 1
  • Michael C. Fiore
    • 1
  • Timothy B. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention and Department of MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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