Objective: To estimate the effectiveness of a free nicotine patch giveaway program offered to New York City (NYC) smokers conducted in 2003.
Methodology: The effectiveness of the program was assessed by contrasting the 12-month quit rate of program participants with the quit rate from a group of Quitline callers who were not offered free nicotine patches. The follow-up surveys were conducted in 2004 and the analysis in 2005.
Results: The 7-day nonsmoking prevalence rate measured at 12 months among callers who received the nicotine patches was 1.78 times higher (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19-2.66) than the quit rate among a comparable group of callers to the Quitline from NYC a year earlier who did not receive nicotine patches.
Conclusions: The provision of free nicotine patches through a telephone quitline was effective in inducing a large number of smokers to make a quit attempt and stop smoking, above and beyond the efficacy of the quitline support alone.