Self-help quit smoking interventions: effects of self-help materials, social support instructions, and telephone counseling

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1991 Jun;59(3):439-48. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.59.3.439.


Smokers requesting self-help materials for smoking cessation (N = 2,021) were randomized to receive (a) an experimental self-quitting guide emphasizing nicotine fading and other nonaversive behavioral strategies, (b) the same self-quitting guide with a support guide for the quitter's family and friends, (c) self-quitting and support guides along with four brief counselor calls, or (d) a control guide providing motivational and quit tips and referral to locally available guides and programs. Subjects were predominantly moderate to heavy smokers with a history of multiple previous quit attempts and treatments. Control subjects achieved quit rates similar to those of smokers using the experimental quitting guide, with fewer behavioral prequitting strategies and more outside treatments. Social support guides had no effect on perceived support for quitting or on 8- and 16-month quit rates. Telephone counseling increased adherence to the quitting protocol and quit rates.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Counseling*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hotlines*
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Programmed Instructions as Topic*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking / therapy*
  • Social Support*


  • Nicotine