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Health Educ Behav. 2007 Feb;34(1):43-54. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

Pathways to health: a cluster randomized trial of nicotine gum and motivational interviewing for smoking cessation in low-income housing.

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  • 1University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


Despite high smoking rates among those living in poverty, few cessation studies are conducted in these populations. This cluster-randomized trial tested nicotine gum plus motivational interviewing (MI) for smoking cessation in 20 low-income housing developments (HDs). Intervention participants (10 HDs, n = 66) received educational materials, 8 weeks of 4 mg nicotine gum, and 5 MI sessions on quitting smoking. Comparison participants (10 HDs, n = 107) received 5 MI sessions and educational materials addressing fruit and vegetable consumption. Participants had a mean age of 46.3 years and were predominantly female (70%) and African American (83%). Biochemically-verified 7-day abstinence rates at 8 weeks were 6.1% and 5.6% in the intervention and comparison arms, respectively (p = ns); and at 26 weeks were 7.6% and 9.3%, respectively (p = ns). Results suggest that nicotine gum plus MI were not effective for smoking cessation in low-income housing. Programs are needed to enhance the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy and counseling in underserved populations.

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