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Review: advice from doctors, counselling by nurses, behavioural interventions, nicotine replacement therapy, and several pharmacological treatments increase smoking cessation rates

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QUESTION: Are smoking cessation interventions effective?

Data sources

Reviews were identified by searching the Cochrane Library.

Study selection

Reviews were selected if they included randomised controlled trials of interventions to reduce or prevent tobacco use that had ≥6 months of follow up with outcomes of sustained abstinence or point prevalence quit rates.

Data extraction

Extracted data included interventions and outcomes.

Main results

20 systematic reviews were available in the Cochrane Library. 1 review (including 31 trials and >26 000 participants who smoked) examined simple advice given by doctors during routine care and showed that the intervention increased quit rates (weighted odds ratio [OR] 1.69, 95% CI 1.45 to 1.98). Another review of individual counselling given by nurses also showed increased quit rates.

Behavioural interventions for smoking cessation, in the forms of individual …

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  • Sources of funding: UK National Health Service Research and Development Programme and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

  • For correspondence: Dr T Lancaster, Imperial Cancer Research Fund General Practice Research Group, Department of Primary Health Care, University of Oxford, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK. Fax +44 (0)1865 227137.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Medicine and Evidence-Based Mental Health.