Background: This study tested the impact of free nicotine patches plus proactive telephone peer support to help low-income women stop smoking.
Methods: A total of 214 Medicaid-eligible women smokers of childbearing age were randomized to receive free nicotine patches through the mail or free nicotine patches through the mail plus the provision of proactive support by telephone from a woman ex-smoker for up to 3 months. Assessments were conducted by telephone at baseline, 10 days, and 3 and 6 months after enrollment.
Results: At the 3-month follow-up, significantly more women in the patch plus proactive telephone support condition were abstinent (42%) compared to the patch only condition (28%) (P = 0.03). Similarly, more women in the experimental condition were abstinent at both the 10-day and 3-month assessments (32 v 19%, P = 0.02). However, differences were not found at the 6-month follow-up, suggesting that the addition of proactive telephone peer support enhanced short-term, but not long-term cessation.
Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate a beneficial effect for the addition of proactive telephone support as an adjunct to free nicotine replacement in a low-income population.
Copyright 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.