NCSCT Standard Treatment Programme

Last activity on July 22, 2024

Prime Theory – Internal and External Factors

External Factors

Internal Factors

You can now see some examples of internal and external factors that may influence a quit attempt or smoking prevalence.

For example, smoking is the single biggest cause of inequalities in death rates between the rich and poor in the UK, therefore social standing can play a major role in access to services and smoking rates.

Living with a smoker can also become a major trigger, so it is important for significant others to respect their partner’s quit attempt, and remove all memorabilia.

Financial stressors, social stressors or health stressors can be major factors preventing a person from making a successful quit attempt and causing a relapse. Most smokers believe that smoking helps to relieve stress, but it actually increases stress. This is due to smoking increasing your carbon monoxide levels, and reducing oxygen levels, causing your heart to pump faster to move the remaining oxygen, therefore increasing heart rate.

In terms of internal factors, someone’s self-efficacy can affect a quit attempt- on average, it takes a person 6-8 quit attempts before successful, therefore self-efficacy and motivation play a major part in becoming smokefree.

In addition, for someone that has smoked for years, it is often hard to change that narrative and find other values that are important other than seeing themselves as a smoker, so identity is an internal factor that can influence someone’s quit attempt.

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