Assessing smokers’ readiness to change

The Atlanta-based American Cancer Society put together a Stages of Change Model as they apply to a person’s readiness to quit smoking. This model can be used to assess a smoker’s readiness to quit.

• Pre-contemplator

This is the smoker who is not thinking seriously about quitting at the present time.

• Contemplator

This person is actively thinking about quitting smoking but is not quite ready to make a serious attempt. They often have excuses for not quitting such as "too much stress at work."

• Preparation

Smokers in the preparation stage seriously intend to quit in the next month and often have tried to quit in the past 12 months. They usually have a plan.

• Action

This is the first six months when the smoker is actively quitting.

• Maintenance

A period of six months to five years after quitting cigarette smoking when the ex-smoker is in danger of relapsing and takes steps to avoid it.