Implementation of a personalized workplace smoking cessation programme

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BackgroundProviding smoking cessation programmes through workplaces is an effective method of assisting employees to quit smoking; however, few employers provide such services, and achieving long-term success remains challenging.AimsTo evaluate the effectiveness of a workplace-based tailored smoking cessation programme that combined telephone-based counselling with group behaviour therapy sessions in helping employees to quit.MethodsA smoking cessation programme was offered to employees of a large corporation that is respons ible for the passenger rail network in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Two hundred and thirty participants enrolled in the programme, which offered telephone-based coaching and group sessions designed around cognitive behavioural therapy principles. One hundred and eight participants (47%) completed the 6 month follow-up assessment.ResultsOf the estimated 2850 smokers in the organization, 8% (230) registered for the smoking cessation programme, with 77% (176) participating in telephone-based coaching and/or group sessions. Intention-to-treat analysis indicated 22% of participants achieved 7 day point prevalence abstinence and 10% achieved 3 month prolonged abstinence at the 6 month follow-up. Over 75% of those still smoking at follow-up reported intentions to quit in the next 6 months. Psychological distress was also significantly lower at 6 month follow-up. Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the programme.ConclusionsThe smoking cessation programme successfully assisted employees to quit smoking. Unique aspects of the programme such as continuity of care were valued by participants and may have contributed to the programme’s success.

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