Review of strategies to recruit smokers for smoking cessation: a population impact perspective

Cad Saude Publica. 2008;24 Suppl 4:s621-34. doi: 10.1590/s0102-311x2008001600013.


This paper reviews published articles describing several instruments used currently to "capture" the attention of smokers for quit-smoking interventions and emphasizes the distinction between the strategies used to reach eligible individuals and those used to recruit them for the proposed smoking cessation intervention. The search for articles was conducted using MEDLINE, PsychARTICLE, and LILACS. Key words for the search included recruitment, enrollment, reach, smoking cessation, quitline, and helpline mentioned in the abstracts and titles of the articles. Articles published in English, Portuguese, and Spanish through November 2006 that emphasized capture instruments related to different populations and specific interventions were included in this review. Twenty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Studies that used active and mixed strategies reached, on average, a smaller and less diverse possible number of eligible individuals and had greater participation proportions than those that used reactive strategies. Future studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of new associations between current interventions and reactive capture strategies, in view of the potential for increasing the population impact related to reactive capture.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Class