There is a lack of consistency in findings regarding subject (S) characteristics and the effects of smoking-control programmes. Research workers appear to assume that abstinence and reduction in smoking rate are merely different points in the same continuum, and therefore seek to correlate S variables with percentage reductions in smoking rate. It is argued that abstinence and reduced smoking are more appropriately viewed as potentially discrete outcomes. Conceptualizing outcome in this manner, a discriminant function analysis was employed to determine whether it is possible to differentiate between Ss who do, or do not, abstain following participation in a treatment programme involving rapid-smoking. It was found that it is possible to discriminate between the two groups of Ss. Advantages deriving from this approach to the investigation of S characteristics and treatment outcome are discussed.