Background. This paper describes a natural, prospective, open-label study designed to evaluate the impact of free nicotine patches with minimal support for smoking cessation. Methods. Surveys were administered to 223 participants who received nicotine patches from the American Lung Association. All participants received a 6-weeks supply of 15-mg/16-h transdermal nicotine patches, a self-help book Freedom from Smoking, and information about area smoking cessation classes. Follow-up telephone surveys were administered 6 weeks after the patches were distributed. Abstinence was measured through self-report exclusively. Results. The overall quit rate at 6-weeks was 21% (47/223). Among nonquitters, the mean number of cigarettes smoked per day dropped from 25 at baseline to 14 at 6 weeks. There was a significant difference in the average number of patches used by quitters and nonquitters (26 versus 11, P < 0.001). Conclusions. Nicotine patches with minimal support can be effective in smoking cessation and smoking reduction. The availability of patches may have motivated participants to quit. Efforts to increase access to and use of nicotine patches may result in increased attempts to quit and successful quitting. (C) 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
1Dr. Ahluwalia is a current recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physicians Faculty Scholars award (032686).
- Minimal intervention
- Nicotine patches
- Smoking cessation