Lean on me: Research Study for Couples Trying to Stop Smoking


If you are trying to quit smoking cigarettes, it may be more difficult if your significant other also smokes. Researchers at USC would like to understand whether having a romantic partner who also smokes affects a smoker's attempts to quit. What we learn will help us to develop more effective programs for those who want to quit.

Relationships are common reasons why people start or continue to smoke. Maybe you grew up around smokers and it seemed natural for you to smoke, too. Maybe your partner smokes and it’s a way that you spend time together. The important people in your life can also be a key to your success in quitting. You might even be surprised by how much help they can be.

If you participate in the study, we will ask you to visit our USC Health Science Campus lab, complete some questionnaires and interviews about your smoking history and your mood, and complete daily mobile surveys for 4 weeks using your phone. One or both individuals in a relationship can participate, and at least one person has to be a smoker.

Smokers and their romantic partners are encouraged to participate! Monetary compensation is available for completing study visits and mobile surveys.

Keywords: couples, smoking, cessation, smoker, cigarette, quit, relationship

Study Sites

2250 Alcazar St, Los Angeles, CA 90033

  • Men & Women
Age icon
18 - 65

You’re eligible for this study if you can answer yes to these questions:

  1. Do you live with your significant other?
  2. Are you in a long-term relationship (at least 6 months)?
  3. Do you or your partner smoke cigarettes?

What's involved?

Study length
  • 4 weeks (plus an additional follow-up phone call 2 months later)

Number of visits
  • 3

  • None

  • Breathalyzer test

  • Saliva samples collected

  • Vital signs collected

  • Health/behavior interview

  • Questionnaires

  • Compensation is available for successful completion of study visits and phone surveys.

Medical cost coverage
  • Study-related tests and procedures are covered.

Why participate?


Join this new study @USC that looks at how trying to quit smoking can be affected by a romantic relationship with another smoker. Participants will be compensated. #smoking #quitsmoking


Must have

  • Age 18-65 years old
  • Current smoker for the past 2 years (must smoke cigarettes, can use other tobacco products and/or use other drugs like cannabis)
  • Must be in a long-term relationship (at least 6 months)

Can't have

  • Be pregnant, intending to become pregnant, or breastfeeding within the last 6 months

Study Team

Principal Investigator
Matthew Kirkpatrick, PhD

For questions about this study, contact:

Research study materials

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