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Am J Health Promot. 2008 Jan-Feb;22(3):176-9. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.22.3.176.

Characteristics of smokers calling a national reactive telephone helpline.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87131, USA. asood@salud.unm.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Although reactive telephone helplines for quitting smoking are increasingly popular in the United States, the characteristics of callers using this resource have not been adequately studied. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of the current smokers calling a national reactive telephone helpline (i.e., study population).

DESIGN AND SETTING:

In this cross-sectional study, information was obtained from eligible participants telephonically.

SUBJECTS:

The study included 890 adult current smokers who were new callers to a national reactive helpline.

MEASURES:

The information collected included selected demographic and smoking-related characteristics.

ANALYSIS:

The proportions of the above characteristics were analyzed.

RESULTS:

There was a significant overepresentation of blacks, non-Hispanics, women, and urban residents, as well as poorer, older, less educated, and heavier smokers in the study population (p < .01 for all comparisons).

CONCLUSIONS:

Reactive telephone helplines may be preferentially used by population segments who are disadvantaged or smoke heavily and thus are in greatest need for assistance. These helplines may therefore fill a much-needed niche in the marketplace of smoking cessation strategies.

PMID:
18251117
DOI:
10.4278/ajhp.22.3.176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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