giving advice over the phone works


  • People with a long history of smoking are at high risk of lung cancer.
  • 51.6% of adults were not ready to quit smoking in less than 30 days.
  • Quit rates were checked using saliva dipsticks or carbon monoxide tests.

“It is very difficult to quit smoking”said Kathryn L. Taylor, MD, a professor in the Department of Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center. That is why she wanted to test with other American researchers a new technique that supposedly promotes smoking cessation. The latter consists of receiving very regular advice and telephone support and also resorting to nicotine substitutes.

To find out if this method really works, scientists conducted a study, the results of which were published in the journal. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. For the purposes of the work, they recruited 818 people between the ages of 50 and 80, who smoked two packs a day for ten years.

3 or 8 support sessions

The participants were randomly assigned. Some of them benefited from telephone counseling for eight 20-minute sessions and used nicotine patches for eight weeks. The rest of the volunteers received calls, specifically support for only three sessions, and wore patches for two weeks. “7-day and self-reported abstinence rates 3, 6, and 12 months after randomization were assessed,” the team said.

During the sessions, smoking cessation specialists discussed with smokers the use of nicotine patches, strategies to control the urge to light a cigarette, the willingness to quit, their confidence and motivation. “The experts met with the participants when they were ready to talk about smoking or when they were ready to quit and wanted specific advice on changing their smoking habits,” said Randi M. Williams, author of the work, in a declaration.

A dropout rate multiplied by two

According to the results, dropout rates at three months were significantly higher in the group that received eight telephone coaching sessions than in the group that received three sessions (14.3% vs. 7.9%). Dropout rates were lower, but with differences between groups (9.1% versus 3.9%). Intensive telephone coaching was more effective in people with higher nicotine addiction.

Clearly, “People who use nicotine replacement therapy and are supported by specialists are more successful at quitting smoking than those who try to quit on their own. It is important to note that trying to quit smoking during the lung exam can stimulate smoker’s motivation.a conclusion Kathryn L. Taylor.

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