Factors affecting dropout in the smoking cessation outpatient clinic

Chron Respir Dis. 2016 May;13(2):155-61. doi: 10.1177/1479972316629953. Epub 2016 Feb 4.


The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of discontinuation in the smoking cessation outpatient clinic (SCC) and to examine the features of noncompliance. We retrospectively included 1324 smokers into the study. Patients were divided into two groups, as those who discontinued (dropped out) follow-up (group 1) and those who stayed in follow-up (group 2). Of the total 1324 smokers, 540 (40.8%) patients were in group 1. The mean age, smoking pack-years, and Fagerstrom scores of group 1 were lower than group 2 (p = 0.001, p = 0.008, and p = 0.007, respectively). In addition, the choice of treatment was also different between groups (p < 0.001). Motivational/behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) were more common in group 1 compared with group 2. There was no difference among groups in gender, having household smokers, history of antidepressant treatment, previous quit attempts, and educational status (p > 0.05). Almost 40% of our patients did not come to their follow-up SCC visit. Younger age, lower Fagerstrom score, low amount of daily cigarette consumption, and being treated only with behavioral therapy or NRT were detected as the characteristics of the dropout group. Awareness of the characteristics of smokers who drop out of SCC programs may provide for the implementation of personalized treatment at the first appointment.

Keywords: Smoker; cessation; characteristics; control; dropout; follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Nicotinic Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Dropouts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / therapy
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Time Factors
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Devices*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / therapy*
  • Varenicline / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Bupropion
  • Varenicline