Intensive telephone intervention stimulated smoking cessation at 3 months

September 09, 2022

2 minute read



Williams P, et al. ALERT 2: Digital and Pediatric. Presented at: International Congress of the European Respiratory Society; Sept. 4-6, 2022 (hybrid meeting).

Williams does not report any relevant financial information.

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Immediate provision of intensive smoking cessation intervention by telephone was associated with increased smoking cessation rates at 3 months, researchers reported at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Paris Williams, A PhD student at Imperial College, National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), London, presented results from the QuLIT2 study, which assessed whether providing immediate smoking cessation advice remotely for people undergoing lung cancer screening is effective in increasing smoking cessation rates. It has already been shown in the QuLIT1 trial that immediate face-to-face smoking cessation support for people undergoing screening was associated with a quit rate of 29.2% compared to 11% for those in a group witness, Williams said during the presentation.

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The single-blind, randomized controlled trial included smokers between the ages of 55 and 75 who participated in a targeted lung health check-up. The participants had an initial teleconsultation then a chest CT scan if the risk threshold was reached. Researchers randomly assigned 315 current smokers to telephone smoking cessation intervention (n=152; mean age, 61.3 years; 44.7% female) or usual care (n=163; mean age, 63 years old; 51.5% women).

The intervention group received six sessions of behavioral support plus pharmacotherapy (varenicline or nicotine replacement therapy). The researchers delivered the intervention between 2 and 48 hours after the initial telephone consultation. The usual care group received very brief smoking cessation counseling with referral to local cessation services, according to Williams.

The primary endpoint was self-reported smoking abstinence from 7 days to 3 months.

Overall, 40 patients were lost to the intervention group and 48 were lost to the usual care group.

The researchers reported a higher self-reported point prevalence of 7-day smoking abstinence among participants in the intervention group than the usual care group (21.1% vs. 8.9%; OR=2.83; CI at 95%, 1.44-5.61; P = .002). Additionally, both successful and unsuccessful smoking cessation attempts were more likely among participants in the intervention group than those in the usual care group (37.5% versus 22%; OR = 2.11; 95% CI, 1 .29-3.47; P = 0.003).

Participants in the intervention group also had higher varenicline use (28% versus 2.7%; OR=13.65; 95% CI, 1.72-108.24; P = 0.01), single component nicotine replacement therapy (21% vs 5.5%; OR = 4.53; 95% CI, 0.95-21.61; P = 0.05) and two-component nicotine replacement therapy (37% vs 3.8%; OR = 6.41; 95% CI, 1.75-23.51; P = .005). Participants in the usual care group had higher e-cigarette use compared to those in the intervention group (30.5% versus 14%; OR=0.37; 95% CI, 0.13-1, 04; P = .05).

“Remote quit interventions are successful in increasing quit rates. This is a little less than what we saw with the initial phase of the trial. Thus, a combination of approaches is likely to be useful in this patient cohort,” Williams said.

“Lung screen parameters are effective learning moments for quitting smoking. Immediacy of intervention and pharmacotherapy are important in this cohort of patients because people who are heavily dependent on nicotine have been smoking for a long time. All lung cancer screening or health checkup facilities really should incorporate smoking cessation into their programs.

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