Adolescents who try to quit smoking: The influence of fear of gaining weight on smoking cessation and the mediating role of motivation.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of fear of gaining weight on success on smoking cessation for adolescent boys and girls and to test the mediating role of motivation to quit smoking. Participants (N=257), who all stated to be motivated to quit smoking, were between 12 and 18 years (M=16.7, SD=1.13). They were recruited for a Nicotine Replacement Therapy program, conducted in High Schools throughout the Netherlands. This consisted of a six or nine week nicotine or placebo patch condition and three measurement points afterwards, where participants were asked if they moked in the last month. Quitting smoking was found to be a hard task for adolescents. Only 14.8, 7.5 and 9.1% of the participants succeeded in their attempt at the three measurement points, resulting in a low statistical power. Results of this study indicate that the fear of gaining weight does not have an effect on the success rate of smoking cessation and no differences were found between boys and girls. Therefore, motivation could not be a mediator. It is unclear if this result is caused by a lack of statistical power or if this relationship does not exist in the population. However, the present findings indicate that a higher motivation to quit smoking was related to more success in smoking cessation after six and twelve months. Future research should expand the sample size to learn more about this relationship.