Introduction: Although smoking cessation is strongly indicated by international guidelines as an effective therapeutic tool for patients with COPD and Asthma, a large proportion of them do not quit smoking and they are regarded as a "difficult" target group.
Aim: To study the effectiveness of an intensive smoking cessation program in smokers with COPD and asthma under real-life conditions.
Methods: 166 smokers with COPD, 120 smokers with asthma and 1854 control smokers attended the smoking cessation program in the out-patient patient Smoking Cessation Clinic of the Pulmonary Department in Athens University. Continuous Abstinence Rate (CAR) was evaluated in 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after the target quit date.
Results: Short-term CAR (in 3 months) was 49.4% for COPD smokers, 51.7% for asthmatic smokers and 48.0% for the control group of smokers. 12 months after the initial visit the CAR was 13.9%, 18.3% and 15.9%, respectively. No statistically significant differences between groups at any study period were found. Smokers with good compliance with the program had higher long-term CAR after 12 months: 37.7% in COPD smokers, 40.0% in asthmatic smokers and 39.3% in control smokers. High CAR was observed at all stages of COPD severity.
Conclusion: The results support the view that smokers with respiratory obstructive airway diseases of any severity should be offered an intensive smoking cessation program with regular and long-term follow-up. This will help them to achieve high abstinence rates and prevent relapses.
Keywords: Asthma; COPD; Real life studies; Respiratory diseases; Smoking cessation.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.