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Prev Med. 1988 Jan;17(1):48-59.

Smoking intervention in the workplace using videotapes and nicotine chewing gum.

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Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, England.


This article reports a series of randomized controlled studies in four companies in the United Kingdom which were designed to evaluate minimal smoking intervention programs based on the use of motivational videotapes or nicotine chewing gum. In the videotape studies, groups of smokers (N = 603) were randomly assigned to watch one of several different videotapes. They were followed-up, along with nonparticipants (N = 1,015), at 3 months and again at 1 year, and a biochemical validation of abstinence was performed. There were significant differences between the videotape conditions with regard to attitudes assessed immediately after exposure (intention and fear) and the proportion of smokers who tried to stop, but there were no significant differences in cessation, even in the short term. Using a strict definition of abstinence, long-term abstinence rates were under 10% in all four studies. In one company, we also investigated the effect of offering brief individual treatment based on nicotine chewing gum to a randomly chosen 50% sample of the videotape group (N = 161) still smoking at the 3-month follow-up. The treatment course was administered by occupational health nurses and consisted of four short consultations over a 12-week period. The results were encouraging: 16% of those who took the offer stopped during treatment and were still abstinent 1 year after the start of treatment compared with only 2% of the randomized no-intervention control group and 0% of those who were invited but did not attend.

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