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Studies of 20,000 smokers show quit rates double with counseling and free nicotine patches
Date:11/29/2007

Jeffrey Fellows, PhD, lead author and an investigator at Kaiser Permanentes CHR.

The second study looked at 4,600 smokers and is the largest randomized trial ever conducted on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alternative Quitline services and polices. Smokers in the study were randomly assigned to one of six levels of services when they called the Oregon Tobacco Quitline: brief counseling (one 15-minute call) with or without NRT, moderate counseling (one 30-minute call and one follow-up call) with or without NRT, or intensive counseling (one 30-minute call and four follow-up calls) with or without NRT.

More than 21 percent of the smokers quit after receiving intensive counseling plus NRT, compared to 11.7 percent of the smokers who quit after brief counseling with no NRT. Successful quitting was defined as abstinence from all forms of tobacco for 30-plus days at the 12-month follow-up interview. The study also found that satisfaction with Quitline services also increased with the more intense levels of service, rising to 92.5 percent satisfaction from 53.9 percent from those who just received brief counseling.

As expected, costs per participant were higher for increased levels of service, ranging from $67 for brief counseling with no NRT to $268 for intensive counseling plus NRT. The added costs of increased counseling and NRT were offset by their increased effectiveness, and all levels of service were highly cost-effective enhancements to brief counseling with no NRT.

Policymakers for state Quitlines might choose to offer only brief counseling with no NRT because the cost per caller is lower, said Jack Hollis, PhD, lead author of the study and a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanentes CHR. However, our results suggest that higher quit rates, greater client satisfaction, and the potential to attract more smokers to Quitlines more than offset the modest additional costs. Heavily addicted smokers, who have the highe
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Contact: Danielle Cass
danielle.x.cass@kp.org
510-267-5354
Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
Source:Eurekalert

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