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Randomised controlled trial
Adding live, reactive telephone counselling to self-help literature does not increase smoking cessation
  1. Hazel Gilbert
  1. Correspondence to Hazel Gilbert
    Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London Medical School, Royal Free Campus, Rowland Hill Street, London NW3 2PF, UK; hazel.gilbert{at}

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Telephone helplines to encourage and offer support to smokers during their attempts to quit are a flexible and convenient method of providing advice to those seeking minimal assistance. Quitlines began as reactive lines, where the smoker initiates the call to a designated number to receive advice and information. Many now also offer proactive callback services, where a trained counsellor initiates the call to the smoker, in an attempt to provide more continuous care to those who are reluctant to seek face-to-face treatment.

Randomised trials of proactive services have found them to be effective in increasing quit rates. Descriptive …

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  • Competing interests None.