Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Alison Salmon

Second Advisor

Paul Chang


Relapse is regarded as a common occurrence, and it is known that smokers make an average of three to four attempts to cease smoking before maintaining smoking cessation. Thus, relapse continues to be a problem for interventions for smoking cessation. This qualitative study explored the experiences of relapse in smoking cessation. Fourteen participants, seven maintainers and seven relapsers aged between 21-80 participated in the study, which was facilitated by a semi-structured interview format. Several themes and sub-themes were generated under the categories of strategies, reasons for relapse, and reasons for cessation. The themes highlighted that there were differences between the maintainers and relapsers. All participants reported relapse episodes. Maintainers, utilised both cognitive and behavioural processes indicated by the Transtheoretical Model of Change and relapsers focused more on the behavioural processes. Maintainers seemed to have more personalised reasons to cease smoking than relapsers, by having more incentive to quit, also they illustrated a high sense of self efficacy. Maintainers also experienced more internal and external negative health events. This qualitative study promotes further research in specific populations in regards to smoking relapse. Specifically with smoking cessation during pregnancy.