Smokers beliefs and feelings about smoking and quitting during a quit attempt
Wee Lei Hum, Principal Assistant Director, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Putrajaya, Malaysia
A detailed understanding of the process of smoking cessation is required to guide interventions. A new model of behaviour change (the SNAP model) could provide a potential framework.
The aim of the present study was to explore smokers’ beliefs and feelings about smoking and quitting and how far the SNAP model provides an adequate conceptual framework.
Eight smokers attending three smokers clinics in Malaysia were interviewed before, and four weeks after, beginning their quit attempt. The questions focused on smokers’ identities, plans, wants and needs to smoke, triggers that prompted the quit attempt, behaviour ahead of the quit attempt, methods of dealing with urges to smoke after the start of the quit attempt and degree of mental effort required to sustain abstinence. The data were analysed by template analysis.
The results indicated that while individuals may on the surface be characterised as belonging to one of four categories (Smoker – smoking with no definite plans to quit, Non-smoker – not smoking, Attempter – in the process of trying to quit, Planner – smoking but with a definite plan to quit), and transitions can in principle occur from any of these to any other, this hides a more complex and fluid picture in which multiple conflicting identities and motivations
Further research is needed to examine how far a two-level SNAP model (incorporating both surface and deep identities
to take account of this) can predict smoking cessation outcomes
and to guide interventions to aid cessation.
About the presenter
Ms Wee Lei Hum by profession is a Health Education Officer with the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MoH). In MoH, she has served in the Health Education Division, Selayang Hospital, Family Health Development Division and the Telehealth Division whereby she was very much involved in developing policies, strategies and plans for health education programmes. Prior to joining MoH, Ms Wee had worked as a marketing executive in an advertising company and a communication officer with the National Welfare Foundation.
Ms Wee earned her bachelor’s degree with honours in Mass Communication and Management from the University Sains Malaysia (USM). She had attended a 21 months Post-Graduate Course in Public Health in the Institute of Public Health Malaysia. Ms Wee completed her Master of Health Communication from the Curtin University of Technology, Australia and her research project was on Body Image Problems among Female Adolescents in Malaysia. Currently Ms Wee is reading for her PhD in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya under the Federal Government Scholarship. Her research study is on smoking cessation in collaboration with University.