Mentioning smoking cessation assistance during healthcare consultations matters: findings from Dutch survey research

Eur J Public Health. 2022 Oct 3;32(5):747-752. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckac106.


Background: Smoking cessation assistance (SCA) can help smokers to successfully quit smoking. It is unclear to what extent hearing about SCA from a healthcare professional is associated with using SCA during a quit attempt.

Methods: We used pooled survey data from the 2016, 2018 and 2020 'Module Substance Use' survey in the Netherlands (N = 5928). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between having heard about SCA from one or more healthcare professionals in the last year and the use of SCA during the most recent quit attempt in the last year. We used two models: model 1 included any type of assistance; model 2 included assistance typically recommended by treatment guidelines (i.e. counselling and pharmacotherapy).

Results: Hearing about any type of SCA from a healthcare professional in the last year was significantly associated with using any type of SCA during the most recent quit attempt [odds ratio (OR) = 2.96; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.16-4.06; P < 0.001]. We found the strongest association between hearing about counselling and/or pharmacotherapy and using counselling and/or pharmacotherapy (OR = 5.40; 95% CI 4.11-11.60; P < 0.001). The odds of using SCA was not significantly higher for smokers who had heard about it from two or more healthcare professionals compared to one healthcare professional (OR = 1.38; 95% CI 0.79-2.42; P = 0.26).

Conclusions: Healthcare professionals can play a greater role in stimulating the use of SCA, especially counselling and pharmacotherapy, by mentioning it to smokers during consultations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Smokers
  • Smoking
  • Smoking Cessation*