Short- and Long-Term Smoking Cessation for Three Levels of Intensity of Behavioral Treatment

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Efficacy and costs of 3 levels of medical–behavioral treatment intensity in conjunction with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) were compared in 240 one-pack-a-day smokers: (a) a low-intensity (LI) group that received 8 weeks of NRT (n = 80) and 1 advice and education (A&E) session with a nurse practitioner (NP); (b) a moderate-intensity (MI) group that was provided NRT and 4 A&E sessions with an NP (n = 80); and (c) a high-intensity (HI) group that received treatment combining NRT, 4 A&E sessions, and 12 weeks of individualized cognitive–behavioral therapy (n = 80). Biochemically confirmed abstinence rates at 9, 26, and 52 weeks posttreatment initiation were highest for the HI (45%, 37%, 35%) group, followed by the LI (35%, 30%, and 27%) and MI (27%, 12%, 12%) groups. Group differences approached statistical significance at 9 weeks and were statistically significant at both 26 and 52 weeks. The cost of LI treatment was $308, that of MI was $338, and the HI treatment cost was $582.

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