Nicotine fading, self-monitoring and cigarette fading to produce cigarette abstinence or controlled smoking

R. M. Foxx, Elie Axelroth

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32 Scopus citations


This study developed and evaluated a smoking-treatment program. Twelve subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups within a multiple baseline design. Subjects were first given a nicotine-fading and self-monitoring procedure for 3 weeks in which they changed their cigarette brands each week to ones containing progressively less nicotine and tar and plotted their daily intake of the two substances. Those subjects unable to quit smoking were then given a cigarette-fading procedure in which they systematically reduced the number of cigarettes smoked for 3 weeks. The study had two goals: (1) to achieve a reasonable percentage of abstinence; and (2) to reduce non-abstainers' smoking to a 'safer' level by having them smoke very low tar and nicotine cigarettes. The 12-month follow-up results revealed that 33% of the subjects were abstinent and all non-abstainers were smoking cigarettes lower in tar and nicotine than their baseline brands. Half the non-abstainers had decreased their smoking rate relative to baseline while the other half had increased. The subjects decreased their daily nicotine intake by 13.3 mg (81.6% reduction from baseline) and tar intake by 218.2 mg (85.5% reduction from baseline). These results suggest that the study's goals were achieved and that the non-aversive combined procedure could be used to treat not only habitual smokers but also those with cardiovascular and respiratory problems who cannot be treated by smoking-cessation procedures that use cigarette smoke as the aversive stimulus. Finally, a least-restrictive model for treating smoking is proposed and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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