Send to

Choose Destination
Prev Med. 1996 May-Jun;25(3):346-54.

Reaching midlife and older smokers: tailored interventions for routine medical care.

Author information

Wyoming Valley Family Practice Residency, Kingston, Pennsylvania 18704, USA.



Although older adults can achieve significant health benefits from smoking cessation, few programs have specifically targeted this population. This study tested the effectiveness of an office-based smoking cessation program tailored to midlife and older smokers.


This paper describes a randomized controlled trial comparing usual care with physician-delivered brief quit-smoking advice and counseling for midlife and older smokers (ages 50-74). Outpatient medical practices assigned to the Immediate Intervention (experimental) condition were trained to deliver brief quit-smoking advice and counseling. Delayed Intervention (control) practices followed usual care procedures. Thirty-nine practices accruing five or more patients per practice were included in the analyses.


Using conservative measure of quitting, self-reported quit rates at 6-month follow-up were 15.41% for the Immediate Intervention group versus 8.16% of subjects in the Delayed Intervention group (P < 0.005). Baseline subject (N = 659) characteristics related to 6-month abstinence included number of previous quit attempts, quitting for 24 hr in the past year, desire to quit, confidence in quitting, perceived health benefits, and lower nicotine dependence.


Smoking abstinence was significantly increased by training physicians and key office and clinical staff to intervene with older smokers. Brief interventions are tailored to this age cohort can be successfully and efficaciously integrated into routine care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center