Rationalizations and identity conflict following smoking relapse

a thematic analysis

Lei Hum Wee, Azlyn Azmainie Binti Ithnin, Robert West, Nihayah Mohammad, Chan Caryn Mei Hsien, Siti Saadiah Hasan Nudin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Little is known about how smokers respond cognitively and emotionally to the experience of “late” relapse after the acute withdrawal phase. This study assessed the kinds of thoughts and feelings that emerge in order to provide a basis for quantitative research assessing prevalence of different types of response and implications for future quit attempts. Methods: Face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted among 14 people attending a quit smoking clinic in Malaysia who had relapsed after at least 6 weeks of abstinence. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis to enable emergence of important aspects of the experience. Results: Following relapse, smokers often engaged in rationalizations and activities to minimize worry about the harmful effects of smoking by switching to a lower-tar cigarette, reducing the number of cigarette smoked, attempting to reduce cigarette smoke inhalation, comparing themselves with other smokers, and minimizing the health risks associated with smoking. In some cases, smokers retained a “non-smoker” identity despite having relapsed. Conclusion: Smoking relapsers rationalize their failure to quit and minimize their health risk in order to protect their image as non-smokers while it remains a source of identity conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Use
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Mar 2016

Fingerprint

identity conflict
relapse
rationalization
smoking
Smoking
Recurrence
health risk
Tobacco Products
Malaysia
Health
quantitative research
Smoke
withdrawal
Inhalation
Emotions
experience
Interviews
Conflict (Psychology)
Rationalization
interview

Keywords

  • Motivation to quit
  • qualitative
  • smoking relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Rationalizations and identity conflict following smoking relapse : a thematic analysis. / Wee, Lei Hum; Binti Ithnin, Azlyn Azmainie; West, Robert; Mohammad, Nihayah; Caryn Mei Hsien, Chan; Hasan Nudin, Siti Saadiah.

In: Journal of Substance Use, 30.03.2016, p. 1-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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