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This research aimed to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on smoking cessation among African Americans. Tobacco smoking affects African Americans. However, limited research exists to show the effectiveness of CBT intervention on smoking cessation among African American populations (Herna´ndez-Lo´pez, Luciano, Bricker, Roales-Nieto and Montesinos, 2009; Webb, Ybarra, Baker, Reis and Carey, 2010).
Webb and colleagues pointed out that tobacco smoking was a major public health problem in the US. In addition, it had serious negative effects on African Americans who developed smoking-related health problems like lung cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke (Webb et al., 2010).
Herna´ndez-Lo´pez and colleagues note that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the current standard and most popular intervention for tobacco smoking cessation. CBT relies on teaching smokers about coping skills by focusing on “internal factors like craving and external cues like seeing other smokers” (Herna´ndez-Lo´pez et al., 2009).
Herna´ndez-Lo´pez et al (2009) noted that CBT relied on smokers’ emotions, physical aspects, and thoughts to control smoking craving and cessation. They also demonstrated that external influences induced internal cues, which led smokers to crave for smoking.
CBT works by teaching smokers skills that can help them to reduce and avoid both internal and external smoking cues. The US Public Health Service notes that CBT can be effective when implemented alongside other interventions, such as pharmacotherapy. Scholars and professional in public health have noted declines in behavioral smoking cessation due to high rates of abstinence. Hence, they called for changes in behavioral interventions.
The study design was experimental mixed factorial. The researchers conducted intervention sessions by CBT and group general health education (GHE), counseling, and follow-ups. Study participants were randomly selected for all sessions. They conducted the study between “August 2006 and August 2008 in a midsize northeastern city” (Webb et al., 2010). The study participants were adults aged between 18 and 65 years. They were African Americans who were currently smoking and not in other smoking cessation program.
Smokers who smoked more than five cigarettes each day, had carbon monoxide reading of 8ppm in the breath, and wanted to quit smoking were selected. The study did not include pregnant or breastfeeding women, populations using pharmacotherapy or those with acute cardiovascular or respiratory health problems. A total of 343 smokers were eligible for the study, but only 154 participants took part in the study. All participants provided written informed consent and the Syracuse University Institutional Review Board approved the study.
All preliminary t tests and chi-square tests were conducted with SPSS 15.0 and SAS 9.2 to determine differences between conditions and baseline variables. Logistic regression was used to determine the study results.
The study results showed that “intent-to-treat 7-day ppa was significantly greater in the CBT than the GHE condition at the end of counseling (51% vs. 27%), at 3 months (34% vs. 20%), and at 6 months (31% vs. 14%)” (Webb et al., 2010) as hypothesised. A generalized linear mixed model showed “a significant effect of CBT versus GHE on 7-day ppa (odds ratio _ 2.57, 95% CI [1.40, 4.71] and also an effect of time (p _ .002)” (Webb et al., 2010). Condition-time relation was not statistically significant, as well as 24-hour ppa and 28-day continuous abstinence. Per protocol results were the same as intent-to-treat results.
The study concluded that CBT intervention was effective for African American smoking cessation.
Tobacco smoking among African Americans led to health related problems. However, limited research existed on the use of CBT on smoking cessation among African Americans. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of CBT intervention among African American smokers.
There were 154 study participants. Study findings showed that CBT had significant relationships with smoking cessation among research participants. As a result, the study concluded that CBT intervention was effectual for smoking cessation among African Americans. Health professionals have observed that CBT could be effective when used with other interventions like pharmacotherapy.
Herna´ndez-Lo´pez, M., Luciano, C., Bricker, J. B., Roales-Nieto, J. G., and Montesinos, F. (2009). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Smoking Cessation: A Preliminary Study of Its Effectiveness in Comparison With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 23(4), 723–730. DOI: 10.1037/a0017632.
Webb, M. S., Ybarra, D. R. de, Baker, E. A., Reis, I. M., and Carey, M. P. (2010). Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy to Promote Smoking Cessation Among African American Smokers: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(1), 24–33. DOI: 10.1037/a0017669.