It ain't over till it's over: the case for offering relapse-prevention interventions to former smokers

Am J Med Sci. 2003 Oct;326(4):197-200. doi: 10.1097/00000441-200310000-00009.


Most people who attempt to quit tobacco smoking eventually relapse. Although treatment strategies have been developed to prevent smoking relapse, they tend to be available only to the small proportion of smokers who enroll in intensive smoking cessation treatments. It is argued that freestanding relapse-prevention interventions could be offered to persons who recently ceased smoking, whether they used a formal treatment program or quit on their own. A line of research is described demonstrating that a series of relapse-prevention booklets mailed to recent quitters significantly reduces smoking relapse. Moreover, the intervention seems to be highly cost-effective. If disseminated widely, such an approach has the potential to make a significant public health impact.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Hotlines
  • Humans
  • Pamphlets
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Smoking Cessation / economics
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Prevention*