Daily Smoking Patterns, Their Determinants, and Implications for Quitting

Published in: Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, v. 15, no. 1, Feb. 2007, p. 67-80

by Siddharth Chandra, Saul Shiffman, Deborah M. Scharf, Qianyu Dang, William G. Shadel

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In this article, the authors examine daily temporal patterns of smoking in relation to environmental restrictions on smoking and cessation outcomes. Time-series methods were used for analyzing cycles in 351 smokers who monitored their smoking in real time for 2 weeks. The waking day was divided into 8 bins of approximately 2 hr, cigarette counts were tallied for each bin, and temporal patterns of smoking and restriction were analyzed. Cluster analyses of smoking patterns by time of day resulted in 4 clusters: daily decline (n = 30; 9%), morning high (n = 43; 12%), flatline (n = 247; 70%), and daily dip-evening incline (n = 31; 9%). Clusters differed in baseline demographic, smoking, and psychosocial variables. Results suggest that smoking behavior can be characterized by regular patterns of smoking frequency during the waking day: Smoking in the flatline cluster was within 0.5 standard deviation at all times. For the other clusters, smoking was high in the morning (daily dip-evening incline: +1.7 standard deviations; morning high: +2.8 standard deviations; daily decline: +1.7 standard deviations); moderate (morning high: -0.8 standard deviations; daily decline: +0.3 standard deviations) or low (daily dip-evening incline: -1.0 standard deviations) midday; and high (daily dip-evening incline: +2.0 standard deviations), moderate (morning high: +0.5 standard deviations), or low (daily decline: -1.5 standard deviations) in the evening. Daily smoking patterns were related to environmental smoking restrictions, but the strength of this relationship differed among clusters and by time of day. Clusters differed in lapse risk.

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