Women smokers' experiences of an age-appearance anti-smoking intervention: A qualitative study

Sarah Grogan, Rachel Davey, David Clark-Carter, Brendan Gough, Keira Flett, Deborah Richardson, Giri Rajaratnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Objectives. This study was designed to investigate women’s experiences of engaging in an age-appearance anti-smoking intervention. Methods. Ten 18- to 34-year-old women gave accounts of their experiences after engaging in an age-appearance facial morphing anti-smoking intervention in interviews (n = 7) and a focus group (n = 3), and 37 women gave their accounts while they were engaged in the intervention. Transcripts were analysed using a thematic analysis broadly informed by the procedures of Grounded Theory. Results. Women were very concerned about the impact of ageing on their faces in general, and in particular the additional impact of smoking on their skin. Women were concerned about other people’s reactions to them as older smokers with wrinkled skin, and many experienced a physical shock reaction (including reports of nausea) to seeing how they would age if they continued to smoke. They reported that seeing their own face aged on the computer screen increased their perceived risk of skin wrinkling. Women reported being highly motivated to quit smoking as a result of the intervention, and many reported that they would take active steps to quit having seen how they would look if they continued to smoke. This was linked with increased perceived personal responsibility for quitting. Conclusions. Results are discussed in relation to suggestions for anti-smoking interventions aimed at women in the 18- to 34-year-old age group. It is concluded that interventions incorporating age-appearance morphing techniques are likely to be effective in helping women to take active steps to quit smoking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-689
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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