Background: The purpose of this study was, to identify predictors of quitting following general practitioners' (GP) anti-smoking counseling.
Methods: We studied determinants (characterized following the Precede framework) of successful quitting (1 year sustained abstinence, biochemically confirmed at 6- and 12-month follow-up) among 861 smokers randomized to the intervention groups based on repeated counseling (RC), RC + spirometric testing, and RC + nicotine gum, in a smoking cessation trial carried out in Turin, Italy.
Results: GPs' intervention worked best for male (OR = 2.30; 95% CI, 1.13-4.52) and married (OR = 3.63; 95% CI, 1.37-9.59) smokers, for smokers who had maintained abstinence for at least 1 month in the past (OR = 6.78; 95% CI, 1.56-29.52) or at their first quit attempt (OR = 10.91; 95% CI, 2.37-50.13), and for those who spontaneously reduced their coffee consumption (OR = 3.30; 95% CI, 1.59-6.82); heavy smokers (> = 20 cig/day OR = 0.48; 95% CI, 0.24-0.93) and those living with other smokers (> = 1 smokers in the household: OR = 0.44; 95% CI, 0.22-0.90) were less likely to give up. Previous antismoking advice by the GP represented a strong barrier to success for healthy smokers (OR = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.07-0.52), but not for those reporting symptoms of shortness of breath (OR = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.39-9.20). There were no interactions between predictors and treatment conditions.
Conclusions: Assessment of factors influencing quitting would allow GPs to tailor their message to address existing barriers and to help patients utilize their resources for change.