Offering smoking treatment to primary care patients in two Wisconsin healthcare systems: Who chooses smoking reduction versus cessation?

Prev Med. 2017 Dec;105:332-336. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.10.015. Epub 2017 Oct 6.


Smokers unwilling to make a quit attempt can still benefit from smoking intervention. However, it is unclear what proportion of smokers will enter such a Motivation phase intervention, and whether such an intervention attracts different types of smokers than does abstinence oriented treatment. We conducted a study from June 2010 to October 2013 based on a chronic care model of tobacco treatment among study eligible primary care patients (N=1579; 58% women, 89% White) presenting for regular health care visits in southern Wisconsin, U.S. Medical assistants, prompted via the electronic health record (EHR), invited smokers (n=10,242) to learn more about treatment options to help them either reduce their smoking or quit. Of those invited to learn more who were then reached by study staff, 10.2% (n=1046) reported interest in reduction treatment and 24% (n=2465) reported interest in cessation treatment. Patients who selected and ultimately entered reduction (n=492) versus cessation (n=1087) were more likely to report: older age; a history of anxiety; lower motivation to quit; lower primary dependence motives; more close friends or family who smoke; and a greater interval since their last quit attempt. Results suggest that Motivation phase treatment aimed at smoking reduction may increase the proportion and range of smokers inducted into tobacco treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Smokers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Reduction / methods*
  • Wisconsin