The UK is a global leader in stop-smoking support-providing free behavioral support and cessation medication via stop smoking services (SSS) without charge to smokers. This study aimed to explore the client and service characteristics associated with abstinence 52 weeks after quitting. A prospective cohort study of 3057 SSS clients in nine different areas of England who began their quit attempt between March 2012 and March 2013 was conducted. Important determinants of long-term quitting were assessed through quit rates and multivariable logistic regression. Our results showed that the overall weighted carbon monoxide validated quit rate for clients at 52 weeks was 7.7% (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.6-9.0). The clients of advisors, whose main role was providing stop-smoking support, were more likely to quit long-term than advisors who had a generalist role in pharmacies or general practices (odds ratio (OR) 2.3 (95% CI 1.2-4.6)). Clients were more likely to achieve abstinence through group support than one-to-one support (OR 3.4 (95% CI 1.7-6.7)). Overall, one in thirteen people who set a quit date with the National Health Service (NHS) Stop-Smoking Service maintain abstinence for a year. Improving abstinence is likely to require a greater emphasis on providing specialist smoking cessation support. Results from this study suggest that over 18,000 premature deaths were prevented through longer-term smoking cessation achieved by smokers who accessed SSS in England from March 2012 to April 2013, but outcomes varied by client characteristic and the type of support provided.
Keywords: behavioural support; pharmacotherapy; smoking cessation; smoking cessation services; stop-smoking services.