Nicotine Replacement Therapy Distribution to Light Daily Smokers Calling a Quitline

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Abstract

Background:

With an increasing prevalence of lighter smokers presenting for cessation assistance, outcome-based recommendations are needed to inform nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) distribution protocols by quitlines.

Methods:

A quasi-experimental design was utilized to compare quit rates based on samples selected from the time period before and after NRT (gum or lozenge) was offered to light daily smokers (1–9 cigarettes) contacting the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. Outcome measures included self-reported 7- and 30-day abstinence rates, numbers of daily cigarettes among continuing smokers, and cost per quit analyses.

Results:

Among responders to the follow-up survey, quit rates were higher for those given NRT compared with those not offered NRT at both 7 (33.0% vs. 27.2%; Relative Risk [RR] = 2.25 [95% CI: 1.15, 4.40; p < .05]) and 30 days (28.0% vs. 21.9%; RR = 2.63 [95% CI: 1.25, 5.54; p < .05]). Similar results were obtained based on intent-to-treat analyses for both 7 (13.4% vs. 11.3%; RR = 1.92 [95% CI: 1.08, 3.39; p < .05]) and 30 days (11.4% vs. 9.1%; RR = 2.29 [95% CI: 1.20, 4.40; p < .05]). Among continuing smokers, the mean number of cigarettes smoked per day increased from enrollment to follow-up in both groups, but less so in those receiving NRT. The additional cost associated with providing a 2-week free supply of nicotine replacement to smokers was $52 for gum and $74 for lozenge.

Conclusions:

This study demonstrates that light daily smokers (1–9 cigarettes) who contact a telephone quitline are interested in using NRT if offered and are able to achieve higher quit rates compared with those not offered NRT.

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