UK Women Smokers’ Experiences of an Age-progression Smoking Cessation Intervention: Thematic Analysis of Accounts

Lucy Walker, Sarah Grogan, Keira Scholtens, Andrew Denovan, Brian McMillan, Christopher J. Armitage, Mark Conner, Tracy Epton, Maria Cordero

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Objectives : Appearance-related interventions to promote healthy behaviour have been found effective to communicate health risks. The current study aimed to explore women smokers’ experiences of age-progression software showing the effects of smoking on the face.
Methods : A qualitative design was implemented, utilizing both individual interviews and focus groups within a critical realist framework. Fifteen, 19-52 year-old women smokers were administered an age-progression intervention. All participants responded to the intervention, engaged in semi-structured interviews, and were invited back to attend one of three focus groups. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis.
Results : Four main themes were identified: Health versus Appearance, Shock Reaction, Perceived Susceptibility, and Intention to Quit. Participants found the intervention useful, voicing need for a comprehensive approach that includes both appearance and health. Despite increases in appearance-based apps which could diminish impact, women's accounts of shock induced by the aged smoking-morphed images were similar to previous work conducted more than ten years previously.
Conclusions : The study provides novel insights in how women smokers currently perceive, and react to, an age-progression intervention for smoking cessation.
Innovation: Findings emphasise the implementation of this intervention type accompanied by health information in a range of patient settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100021
JournalPEC Innovation
Issue number100021
Early online date3 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2022


  • Smoking
  • Age-progression
  • Intervention
  • Women
  • Aging


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