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Smokers tired of shock-horror quit tactics can try positive influence

Rotting lungs, cancerous eyes, fat-lined arteries and ageing skin are the usual confronting images used to entice smokers to quit around this time of year, but a new study will test if positive visualisations can have the same effect.

QUT researcher Brittany Keen said many of the three million Aussie smokers have made a New Year resolution to quit, but only one in five manage to successfully butt out for more than a month.

Ms Keen said the study is looking at testing different types of interventions to help people to stop smoking, and that smokers wanting some extra support this summer should consider taking part.

“One of the interventions we’re looking at uses positive imagery to help people quit. Imagery has worked to help people reduce cravings for other things like food and alcohol,” the research student said.

She said the new treatment also showed people how they could use their smartphones to help them with their attempt to quit.”

“The other intervention we are looking at is a common smoking treatment of brief advice, often delivered by health professionals.”

Ms Keen says that the brief advice intervention aims to provide people with information and advice about quitting smoking so that they can make informed decisions about their health.

“For many smokers, quitting is a regular occurrence. They’ve tried a long list of different methods with little success but people shouldn’t give up, they should give this study a go.”

She said the study was not time consuming and involved some brief online surveys, up to two face-to-face sessions at QUT, Kelvin Grove, and three support calls over the course of the twelve-week study.

Ms Keen is looking for participants who smoke 10 or more cigarettes per day, own a smartphone and want to quit the habit.

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