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Identifying Subgroups among Hardcore Smokers: a Latent Profile Approach

Bommelé, J., Kleinjan, M., Schoenmakers, T.M., Eijnden, R. van den, Mheen, D. van de. Identifying Subgroups among Hardcore Smokers: a Latent Profile Approach PLoS One: 2015, 10(7), e0133570
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Introduction
Hardcore smokers are smokers who have little to no intention to quit. Previous research suggests that there are distinct subgroups among hardcore smokers and that these subgroups vary in the perceived pros and cons of smoking and quitting. Identifying these subgroups could help to develop individualized messages for the group of hardcore smokers.
In this study we therefore used the perceived pros and cons of smoking and quitting to identify profiles among hardcore smokers.

Methods
A sample of 510 hardcore smokers completed an online survey on the perceived pros and cons of smoking and quitting. We used these perceived pros and cons in a latent profile analysis to identify possible subgroups among hardcore smokers. To validate the profiles identified among hardcore smokers, we analysed data from a sample of 338 non-hardcore smokers in a similar way.

Results
We found three profiles among hardcore smokers. ‘Receptive’ hardcore smokers (36%) perceived many cons of smoking and many pros of quitting. ‘Ambivalent’ hardcore smokers (59%) were rather undecided towards quitting. ‘Resistant’ hardcore smokers (5%) saw few cons of smoking and few pros of quitting. Among non-hardcore smokers, we found similar groups of ‘receptive’ smokers (30%) and ‘ambivalent’ smokers (54%). However, a third group consisted of ‘disengaged’ smokers (16%), who saw few pros and cons of both smoking and quitting. (aut. ref.)