Phone support

Through decades of refinement and study, phone support ('quitline') has become one of the most effective and widespread smoking cessation interventions.

While practices have changed significantly over the years, two decades of studying quit smoking phone support services ('quitlines') has resulted in ample data to conclude they are both effective and cost-effective smoking cessation interventions.

A number of studies examining the effectiveness of phone support programs have been published, and all of them have found that phone support programs are effective at helping smokers in their quit attempts.

Effects of frequency and duration in phone counselling
2007 study shows Quitline success is linked to number of counselling calls.

In a large study including a total of 6,564 callers to the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center, 30-day point prevalence quit rates at seven month follow-up were 11% for those receiving phone counselling compared to 8% of those who received only mailed self-help materials (P < 0.005). The study found evidence of a dose-response relationship, with participants receiving at least five calls to counsellors more likely to successfully quit than those randomized to the protocol with only three calls.

Rabius V, Pike KJ, Hunter J, Wiatrek D, McAlister AL. Effects of frequency and duration in telephone counselling for smoking cessation. Tobacco Control 2007;16 Suppl 1:i71–4.