Effects of stage-matched repeated individual counseling on smoking cessation: A randomized controlled trial for the high-risk strategy by lifestyle modification (HISLIM) study

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of stage-matched repeated individual behavioral counseling as an intervention for the cessation of smoking.


We conducted a multisite randomized controlled trial that enrolled smokers unselected for their readiness to quit. There were 979 smokers with hypertension or hypercholesterolemia recruited from 72 study sites and randomly allocated to the intervention or control group. Smokers in the intervention group received stage-matched individual counseling consisting of a 40 minute initial session and four 20-30 minute follow-up sessions. Smokers in the control group received individual behavioral counseling for hypertension or hypercholesterolemia.


The point prevalence abstinence rate at 6 months, validated by carbon monoxide testing, in the intervention group (13.6%) was 5.4 times higher (p<0.001) than that in the control group (2.5%). When the data were analyzed based on the baseline stage of change, there were significant differences in the abstinence rates at 6 months in smokers versus controls with each stage of change except in immotives. The odds ratio was 6.4 (p<0.001) in precontemplators, 6.7 (p<0.001) in contemplators, and 6.2 (p<0.01) in preparators. There was a positive, consistent effect of the intervention regardless of study site (worksite or community) or the presence of hypertension or hypercholesterolemia.


We showed the effects of an intervention with repeated individual behavioral counseling on the cessation of smoking in smokers unselected for their readiness to quit. This result suggests that stage-matched individual counseling, based on the transtheoretical model, is effective in smokers with a lower motivation to quit as well as those ready to quit.

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