1) To describe the distribution of adult smokers in an existing cohort according to stages of change theory; and 2) to compare movements of these smokers through the stages of change.
Secondary analysis of existing cohort data.
Adult smokers who: 1) enrolled in a Quit & Win Challenge, or 2) received smoking cessation information (Quit Kit) from their area health unit, or 3) were randomly selected by telephone survey.
706 smokers were recruited and followed for one year. Only 2% of the adult smokers selected by random telephone survey were in the "action" stage at baseline, compared with 14% of the Quit and Win Challenge participants, and 14% of the Quit Kit recipients. Variations in movement through the stages of change were observed between groups upon follow-up.
The results suggest a need to use stage-matched approaches when developing population-based smoking cessation interventions.