Smokers' preferences for assistance with cessation

Prev Med. 1990 Jul;19(4):424-31. doi: 10.1016/0091-7435(90)90040-q.


An important issue for public health approaches to smoking control is determining smokers' preferences for the different types of services available to assist with smoking cessation. In a population survey in the state of South Australia, smokers were asked to nominate the forms of assistance that they thought would help them to stop: a stop-smoking group; a lecture; a telephone counseling service; a book, a pamphlet, or a quit kit; a television program or a video program conducted through the mail; a program through their doctor; a program through another health professional; or none of these options. Forty-six percent of current smokers stated that they were interested in none of the options. Among the preferences that were expressed for the different forms of assistance, 67% were for services from a medical practitioner or other health professional; 12.4% for a stop-smoking group; 23.1% for a book, a pamphlet, or a quit kit; and 2.9% for mail or telephone services. The strong preferences for indirect methods that an earlier study and recent commentators have identified did not emerge in this survey. Preferences for personalized, as opposed to indirect forms of assistance, were more likely to be expressed by heavy smokers, those with less confidence of success at stopping, those with greater perceived difficulty of stopping, and those who had reported shorter periods of previous abstinence from smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • South Australia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires