Paths to tobacco abstinence: A repeated-measures latent class analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Knowledge of smoking change processes may be enhanced by identifying pathways to stable abstinence. We sought to identify latent classes of smokers based on their day-to-day smoking status in the first weeks of a cessation attempt. We examined treatment effects on class membership and compared classes on baseline individual differences and 6-month abstinence rates.In this secondary analysis of a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial (N = 1,433) of 5 smoking cessation pharmacotherapies (nicotine patch, nicotine lozenge, bupropion SR, patch and lozenge, or bupropion SR and lozenge), we conducted repeated-measures latent class analysis of daily smoking status (any smoking vs. none) for the first 27 days of a quit attempt. Treatment and covariate relations with latent class membership were examined. Distal outcome analysis compared confirmed 6-month abstinence rates among the latent classes.A 5-class solution was selected. Three-quarters of smokers were in stable smoking or abstinent classes, but 25% were in classes with unstable abstinence probabilities over time. Active treatment (compared to placebo), and particularly the patch and lozenge combination, promoted early quitting. Latent classes differed in 6-month abstinence rates and on several baseline variables, including nicotine dependence, quitting history, self-efficacy, sleep disturbance, and minority status.Repeated-measures latent class analysis identified latent classes of smoking change patterns affected by treatment, related to known risk factors, and predictive of distal outcomes. Tracking behavior early in a change attempt may identify prognostic patterns of change and facilitate adaptive treatment planning. (PsycINFO Database Record(c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

publication date

  • August 2015