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Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 Jul;16(7):992-9. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu025. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

Evaluating the effect of access to free medication to quit smoking: a clinical trial testing the role of motivation.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC;
2
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL;
3
Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC;
4
Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
5
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC;
6
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; carpente@musc.edu.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Although the majority of smokers are ambivalent about quitting, few treatments specifically target smokers lacking motivation to quit in the near future. Most existing interventions are instead predicated on the belief that active treatments should only be distributed to smokers interested in quitting, a largely untested assumption.

METHODS:

In the current clinical trial (N = 157), motivated smokers wanting to quit in the next 30 days were given a 2-week nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) sample and a referral to a quitline (Group MNQ), while unmotivated smokers were randomized to receive the same treatment (Group UNQ) or a quitline referral only (Group UQ). Participants were tracked via telephone for 3 months to assess quitting behaviors and smoking reduction.

RESULTS:

Groups significantly differed across all comparisons with regard to incidence of any quit attempt (MNQ: 77%, UNQ: 40%, UQ: 18%, p < .05) and any 24-hr quit attempts (62%, 32%, 16%, p < .05). Clinically meaningful differences emerged in the rates of floating (19%, 17%, 6%) and point prevalence abstinence (17%, 15%, 5%). Compared to participants in Group UQ (11%), a greater proportion of participants in Group MNQ (48%, p = .01) and Group UNQ (31%, p = .01) reduced their daily cigarette consumption by at least half. Proxy measures of cessation readiness (e.g., motivation) favored participants receiving active forms of treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Providing NRT samples engaged both motivated and unmotivated smokers into the quitting process and produced positive changes in smoking outcomes. This suggests that motivation should not be considered a necessary precondition to receiving treatment.

PMID:
24610399
PMCID:
PMC4133568
DOI:
10.1093/ntr/ntu025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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