Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Galen J. Alessi

Second Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Third Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Fourth Advisor

Dr. James H. Kaye


This study examined the efficacy of three different hypnotic suggestion scripts each delivered in a single session of hypnosis for smoking cessation as mediated by reactance scores on the Therapeutic Reactance Scale (TRS) (Dowd, Milne, & Wise, 1991). Consecutive clinical trials were used to assign 48 subjects to treatment groups such that an equal number of subjects received: (1) direct suggestions, (2) suggestions that refrained the problem, (3) suggestions not specifically related to smoking cessation, and (4) a delayed treatment waiting list. Each subject rated the believability of treatment efficacy on a Likert type scale.

Four categories of the dependent variable were measured at one week and one month following hypnosis: Quit, Slip, Reduced, and Never Quit. Self reported smoking rates and alveolar carbon monoxide (COa ) were used as measures of smoking status.

Only two of the 48 treatment subjects quit smoking at the one month followup. Overall, less than 40% o f the subjects reported a reduction in smoking sufficient enough to be categorized as Quit, Slip, or Reduced at either follow-up. By contrast, no waiting list subject changed smoking status at any time prior to treatment. Due to the small number of subjects who Quit or Slipped, they were combined with those who Reduced for statistical analysis. At one week follow-up, outcome was dependent upon treatment (Chi-square a=.024). Treatment 1 (direct suggestions) and Treatment 3 (nonspecific suggestions) were more effective than Treatment 2 (reframe suggestions). At one month, Chi-square tests were nonsignificant.

No significant differences were obtained between TRS scores in relation to smoking status at either follow-up. There was a moderate correlation between the Behavioral score and the level of COa at the one month follow-up (r=0.47).

A COa level greater than 8 ppm was used to detect smokers and was compared to self reported smoking status. Agreement at one week follow-up was 84.85% and at one month was 90.47%. False positive and false negative rates were low. The use of COa to validate self reported smoking status, at least at a screening level, was supported.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access