Quitline Cessation Counseling for Young Adult Smokers: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Sims, Tammy H.; McAfee, Timothy; Fraser, David L.; Baker, Timothy B.; Fiore, Michael C.; Smith, Stevens S.
May 2013
Nicotine & Tobacco Research;May2013, Vol. 15 Issue 5, p932
Academic Journal
Introduction: One in 5 young adults in the United States currently smoke, and young adults are less likely than other smokers to make aided quit attempts. Telephone quitlines may be a useful tool for treating this population. This study tested a quitline-based smoking cessation intervention versus mailed self-help materials in smokers 18–24 years old. Methods: This was a 2-group randomized clinical trial. The quitline-based counseling intervention (CI) included up to 4 proactive telephone counseling sessions; participants in the self-help (SH) group received only mailed cessation materials. Participants included 410 young adults who had smoked at least 1 cigarette in the past 30 days and who called the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line (WTQL) for help with quitting. Primary study outcomes included whether or not a quit date was set, whether or not a serious quit attempt was undertaken, and self-reported 7-day point-prevalence abstinence at 1-, 3-, and 6-month postenrollment. Results: The CI and SH groups did not differ in the intent-to-treat abstinence analyses at any of the follow-ups. However, the CI group was significantly more likely to set a quit date at 1-month postenrollment. Follow-up response rates were low (67.8% at 1 month; 53.4% at 3 months; and 48.3% at 6 months) reflecting lower motivation to participate in this kind of research. Conclusions: Relative to self-help, quitline counseling motivated young adults to set a quit date but abstinence rates were not improved. Research is needed on how to motivate young adult smokers to seek cessation treatment including quitline services.


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