Cessation in Non-Daily Smokers

"I had the opportunity to sit in on the counseling sessions that the researchers ran when helping participants QUIT smoking and more. I got to observe the clinical aspect of things."

Supervising Faculty: Saul Shiffman, Ph.D.

Contact: Sarah Scholl, Project Coordinator, 412-383-2048. sarah.scholl@pitt.edu

Area of Research: Clinical and Health Psychology; Real-Time Data Capture; Addiction – Tobacco

Description of Research: We are currently conducting one major trial focusing on non-daily smokers. In project 1, our aim is to study the effect of as-needed oral Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) – 2 mg nicotine gum – for smoking cessation in intermittent smokers (ITS), and to study the process of relapse in ITS, using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA). When participants visit our laboratory, they will receive behavioral cessation counseling, and will also carry an electronic diary (i.e., a Palm device) on which they will record their experiences during the quit attempt in real time, within the context of their real-world daily environments.

Duties of Students:

  • Our Directed Research student interns will have an opportunity to gain a broad, first-hand understanding of the project by assisting in a variety of duties, which may vary depending on the project’s current needs, as well as student’s interest and ability. Some include:
  • Assisting with daily lab operations (e.g., greeting participants, preparing materials for study sessions, supporting staff-level research assistants, etc.)
  • Conducting structured telephone screenings with potential participants interested in the study to determine eligibility
  • Scheduling participants’ study visits
  • Observing study sessions to gain understanding of the research process and study-specific procedures


  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab

Additional Requirements:  

  • Careful attention to detail when completing assignments; ability to complete work thoroughly and accurately
  • Comfortable speaking with diverse populations by phone; personable and engaging (required for conducting structured telephone screenings)
  • Ability to follow specific research protocols and instructions closely
  • General computing skills and proficiency using Microsoft Word and (basic) Excel required.  Basic-level Access forms are used in our lab – training will be provided

Terms Offered:  Fall, spring and summer terms

Number of Students: 1-3

Lab website:  smokingresearchgroup.com