The protective role of emotional intelligence in smoking relapse during a 12-month follow-up smoking cessation intervention

Alberto Megías-Robles, José Manuel Perea-Baena, Pablo Fernández-Berrocal, Jesse T. Kaye
2020 PLoS ONE  
Previous literature has shown the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and smoking. However, the mechanisms underlying the role of EI in smoking behaviour are still unclear. The aim of the present study was to analyse how EI abilities protect against relapse in a 12-month smoking cessation program. One hundred and seventy-three volunteer smokers were enrolled in a well-established smoking cessation program, accompanied by a 12-month follow-up, through the Spanish Association Against
more » ... Cancer. Moderation and moderated mediation analyses were conducted to explore the influence of EI abilities on the effect of stress reactivity and nicotine dependence on the likelihood of relapse. Emotional repair ability moderated the effect of stress reactivity on relapse. Higher levels of stress reactivity were associated with a higher likelihood of relapse, but only in those individuals with lower emotional repair abilities. In addition, the moderated mediation analyses revealed that emotional clarity and emotional repair abilities moderated the indirect effect of nicotine dependence on smoking relapse through its influence on stress reactivity. Emotional management is a central concept in explaining smoking behaviour. Our findings suggest that the inclusion of EI training could be particularly useful for improving current smoking cessation programs. A good ability to manage emotions allows smokers to effectively apply psychological coping strategies to deal with stressful situations, thus protecting against relapse.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0234301 pmid:32516326 pmcid:PMC7282659 fatcat:7lj7tqotd5c23hrwdxn2emsa6a