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Addiction. 1998 Jul;93(7):1007-11.

A randomized controlled trial of a "buddy" systems to improve success at giving up smoking in general practice.

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St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.



To assess the effect on abstinence rates of pairing up smokers attending a general practice smokers, clinic to provide mutual support between clinic sessions.


Randomized controlled trial comparing a "buddy" condition with a "solo condition" in which smokers received the e same treatment but were not paired up.


A general practice smokers' clinic in London.


One hundred and seventy-two smokers recruited by mailshot. INTERVENTION. Smokers attended a nurse-led smokers clinic 1 week prior to their quit date, on the quite date, 1 week later and 3 weeks after that. Smokers in the buddy condition were paired with another smoker trying to give up at the same time to provide mutual support between clinic sessions.


The main outcome measure was the percentage of smokers still abstinent from cigarettes at end of treatment (weeks from quite date), verified by expired air carbon monoxide concentration.


The percentage of smokers still abstinent at the end of treatment was significantly higher in the buddy condition than the solo condition (27% vs. 12%).


A buddy system can provide an effective element of a smoking cessation intervention at minimal cost. Further research is needed to establish the long-term efficacy of this approach and examine the effectiveness of incorporating social support into other types of smoking cessation programmes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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