Smokers who value the future more likely to quit

September 4, 2012

Addiction researchers have known for many years that smokers are less likely than non-smokers to look to the future in planning their lives. New research has now shown that among smokers, those who have more of a future orientation are more likely to stop smoking.

Drs. Heather Brown and Jean Adams of Newcastle University (UK) tapped into eight years of data from a large Australian database to make this discovery.

The and Labour Dynamics of Australia (HILDA) survey collects data on economic and subjective well-being, work, and family dynamics every year from over 7,000 Australian households. Brown and Adams identified 1,817 participants who were at the start of the survey (2001) and analysed their planning regarding their saving and spending to measure their future orientation. People whose spending and saving plans looked ahead by more than three months were categorized as having a longer time horizon, while those whose financial plans looked no more than a week ahead had a shorter time horizon. The researchers then looked at how many of those 2001 smokers had quit or tried to quit by 2008. Seventy-six percent of quitters were long-time-horizon planners, compared with 66% of those who continued to smoke.

Researchers in other fields have found similar associations: newly diagnosed diabetics who are future-focused are more likely to make healthy changes to their diet and , and who discount the future are less likely subsequently to stop using the drug.

Says co-author Jean Adams, "It is possible that helping smokers to think about the a bit more might be a useful way to help them quit."

Explore further: Social disapproval not fear helps smokers quit

More information: Brown H and Adams J. The role of time preference in smoking cessation: A longitudinal analysis of data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics of Australia survey, 2001-08. Addiction, 107, doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03997.x

Related Stories

Social disapproval not fear helps smokers quit

March 15, 2012
Researchers from Canterbury Christ Church University have found that smokers are more likely to stop because of anti-social attitudes towards them than from fear of ill-health.

Stopping smoking is hard despite success of smoke-free legislation

April 20, 2012
The successful implementation of smokefree legislation in Hong Kong has led to an overall decrease in the total number of smokers but the remaining smokers who are finding it difficult to quit are going on to become "hardcore" ...

Self-identified social smokers less likely to try to quit

June 14, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Self-identified social smokers are less likely to try to quit and to avoid smoking for more than a month, according to a national study in the American Journal of Public Health conducted by professors ...

CDC: Fewer smokers go to the dentist

February 7, 2012
Smokers not only have more problems with their teeth than non-smokers, they also go to the dentist less often.

Recommended for you

Marijuana use amongst youth stable, but substance abuse admissions up

August 15, 2017
While marijuana use amongst youth remains stable, youth admission to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Report reveals underground US haven for heroin, drug users

August 8, 2017
A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

Regular energy drink use linked to later drug use among young adults

August 8, 2017
Could young adults who regularly consume highly caffeinated energy drinks be at risk for future substance use? A new study by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol ...

Gamblers more likely to have suffered childhood traumas, research shows

August 2, 2017
Men with problem and pathological gambling addictions are more likely to have suffered childhood traumas including physical abuse or witnessing violence in the home, according to new research.

Incorporating 12-step program elements improves youth substance-use disorder treatment

July 26, 2017
A treatment program for adolescents with substance-use disorder that incorporates the practices and philosophy of 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) produced even better results than the current state-of-the ...

Concern with potential rise in super-potent cannabis concentrates

July 21, 2017
University of Queensland researchers are concerned the recent legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Australia may give rise to super-potent cannabis concentrates with associated harmful effects.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.