[[abstract]]The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships of the stages of change with processes of change, self-efficacy/temptation and decisional balance, and to examine the utility of the transtheoretical model in understanding smoking behavior. A random clustered sample of 1095 was recruited from a vocational high school in Taipei city. Findings showed that current smoking prevalence was 20.6%, 25.6% among boys and 6.4% among girls. The percent of already quitting smoking was 7.9%, 8.8% among boys and 5.0% among girls. The rate of never smokers was71.5%, 4.0% of never smokers were planning to try smoking. 58.0% of current smokers were contemplating quitting, 75% of former smokers were long-term quitters (> 6 months). Subjects in acquisition and cessation stages were compared on 10 processes of change, self efficacy/temptation and decisional balance. Results strongly support the transtheoretical model. Results indicate that smokers : (a) use the fewest processes of change during precontemplation stage; (b) emphasize consciousness raising, dramatic relief and self-reevaluation during the contemplation stage; (c) emphasize reinforcement management and stimulus control in preparation stage; (d) use all 10 process activities during the action stage; and (e) use all 10 process activities except consciousness raising in maintenance stage. Participants in acquisition precontemplation scored the lowest and those in cessation precontemplation scored the highest on the self-efficacy/temptation, benefit and decisional balance indices, with the trend reversed on the cons (disadvantages) scale. Smokers at cessation-precontemplation stage were most tempted by habit strength. Exsmokers at cessation- maintenance stage were most tempted by weight control and least tempted by habit strength. Never smokers were most tempted to try smoking when they anticipated that smoking would help increase positive social mood, and least tempted when they anticipated that smoking would help control body weight. These findings offer support for the transtheoretical model to apply in the antismoking programs, and implications for use of the findings by educator in developing stage-based interventions.
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