Objective: To obtain an overview of data from the Cochrane Library on smoking-cessation methods and aids available in the Netherlands.
Design: Systematic literature review.
Method: Common smoking-cessation methods in the Netherlands in 1999 and 2000 were selected from previous research. Data from relevant Cochrane reviews about these cessation methods were collected, after which the efficacy was calculated as a pooled odds ratio and the effectiveness as a percentage of 12 months' continuous abstinence.
Results: The following methods were found to be more efficacious than placebo: tailored written advice, individual counselling, telephonic counselling, group courses, all forms of nicotine-replacement therapy, bupropion and nortriptyline. Acupuncture was not superior to placebo. It was not possible to draw any unequivocal conclusions about hypnotherapy. No randomised studies were found with respect to the 'Allen Carr method'. Rates of 12 months' continuous abstinence were as follows for those methods with proven efficacy: tailored advice: 7%, individual counselling: 16%, telephonic counselling: 7.5%, nicotine gum: 17%, nicotine patch: 13%, nicotine inhaler: 17%, nicotine tablets: 20%, bupropion: 17%, and nortriptyline: 24%. The success rates for nicotine tablets and nortriptyline were based on only 2 and 1 study respectively.
Conclusion: Several effective smoking-cessation methods are available in the Netherlands. In trials the long-term effectiveness of these methods was between 7-24%.