The Effectiveness of NHS Smoking Cessation Services: A Systematic Review

J Public Health (Oxf). 2010 Mar;32(1):71-82. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdp074. Epub 2009 Jul 28.

Abstract

Objectives: To analyse evidence on the effectiveness of intensive NHS treatments for smoking cessation in helping smokers to quit.

Methods: A systematic review of studies published between 1990 and 2007. Electronic databases were searched for published studies. Unpublished reports were identified from the national research register and experts.

Results: Twenty studies were included. They suggest that intensive NHS treatments for smoking cessation are effective in helping smokers to quit. The national evaluation found 4-week carbon monoxide monitoring validated quit rates of 53%, falling to 15% at 1 year. There is some evidence that group treatment may be more effective than one-to-one treatment, and the impact of 'buddy support' varies based on treatment type. Evidence on the effectiveness of in-patient interventions is currently very limited. Younger smokers, females, pregnant smokers and more deprived smokers appear to have lower short-term quit rates than other groups.

Conclusion: Further research is needed to determine the most effective models of NHS treatment for smoking cessation and the efficacy of those models with subgroups. Factors such as gender, age, socio-economic status and ethnicity appear to influence outcomes, but a current lack of diversity-specific analysis of results makes it impossible to ascertain the differential impact of intervention types on particular subpopulations.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • State Medicine*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom