Faculty Mentor

Kevin R. Criswell

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-15-2019





Introduction: In the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Smoking increases the risk for lung cancer, and smoking cessation after diagnosis improves cancer survival and lowers rates of recurrence. Using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), we examined individual attitudes, perceived control, and subjective norms as predictors of lung cancer survivors’ intention to quit smoking.

Method: We conducted a secondary data analysis to examine attitudes, perceived control, and subjective norms of smoking in a sample of lung cancer survivors (N= 171). Analyses were limited to those with a smoking history (i.e., former (n= 139) and current smokers (n= 32)). While logistic regression modeling was considered, unequal subsample sizes ((n= 139 and n= 32) biased results. Chi-square goodness-of-fit tests and independent-samples t-tests were utilized to examine how group differences in smoking history predict theory-related factors of intention to quit smoking (i.e., individual attitudes, perceived control, and subjective norms).

Results: When compared to former smokers, we found that significantly more current smokers reported living with an individual who smokes regularly, p< .05. Other predictors and demographic variables were not significantly associated with smoking status (former vs. current), p’s > .05.

Conclusions: Some lung cancer survivors may find it difficult to quit smoking due to subjective norms that encourage smoking at home. Indeed, living with someone who smokes regularly may decrease an individual’s intention to quit smoking. Smoking cessation programs that incorporate significant others and close relationships may be more effective than those that focus exclusively on patients who continue to smoke. Further longitudinal research is needed to support our findings and identify other risk factors for continuing to smoke after a lung cancer diagnosis.

Keywords: lung cancer, cancer, smoker, smoking cessation, lung cancer survivor, Theory of Planned Behavior, quit smoking, subjective norms

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License