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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Quitline Outcomes for Smokers in 6 States: Rates of Successful Quitting Vary by Mental Health Status

Monday, August 24, 2015  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Amy V. Lukowski, Chad D. Morris, Susan E. Young, David Tinkelman.
Quitline Outcomes for Smokers in 6 States: Rates of Successful Quitting Vary by Mental Health Status. 
Nicotine Tob Res (2015) 17 (8):924-930.doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu252
Tobacco cessation quitlines are generally effective in assisting smokers who want to quit. However, up to half of quitline callers report a history of mental health conditions and/or recent emotional challenges (MH+), and there has been little study of cessation outcomes for this population. Moreover, evidence suggests that callers who expect their MH+ to interfere with quit attempts have less success with quitting. This study compares rates of quitting among MH+ callers and callers with no mental health conditions or recent emotional challenges (MH−). It also compares rates of quitting between those who felt that mental health issues would interfere with their quit attempt (MHIQ+) and those who did not (MHIQ−). National Jewish Health collected telephone data from 6 state quitlines. Participants received up to 5 coaching sessions and up to 8 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy. Smoking status was assessed during 3-month and 6-month post-intervention calls in a subset of participants (n = 4,960) for whom follow-up interviews were completed.
Participation in follow-up interviews was not significantly different between callers with MH+ and those without MH− (p = .13). However, at follow-up MH+ participants were less likely to report a successful quit compared with MH− (3-month: 31% vs. 43%; 6-month: 33% vs. 43%; both p < .001). Among MH+ participants, those reporting MHIQ+ were significantly less likely to quit compared with those who were MHIQ− (3-month: 24% vs. 34%; 6-month: 26% vs. 35%; both p ≤ .001). These findings highlight the importance of evaluating both the mental health status of individuals seeking support for smoking cessation, as well as the individuals’ expectations for success, because they may need more tailored intervention to ensure the potential for better compared with outcomes.

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