Promoting engagement with a Stop Smoking Service via pro-active telephone calls

Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Aug;80(2):277-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.11.009. Epub 2010 Jan 13.


Objectives: What proportion of smokers in a deprived area of London, contacted by telephone, are interested in quitting and accept a referral for cessation support?

Methods: Current smokers from records of general practitioners (GPs) were telephoned; if interested in quitting they were offered a referral to the local Stop Smoking Service (SSS) and smoking status was assessed after 6 months.

Results: Over half of current smokers (53%) were interested in receiving help to stop and 39% accepted a referral to the SSS. Six months later 21% of those contacted reported not smoking. Over one-quarter (28%) of those referred set a quit date with the service and 39% of these were recorded as abstinent four weeks after their quit date.

Conclusion: Calling smokers from GP lists appears to offer promise as a means of prompting quit attempts and ensuring that the chances of these quit attempts succeeding are maximized through attendance at NHS SSS.

Practice implications: GP records need to be accurate and maintained. Smoking patients can be contacted by telephone, informed about the availability of local cessation services and referred directly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Hotlines*
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • State Medicine
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult