Standard, generic self-help materials have been largely ineffective as behavioral treatments for smoking cessation. In contrast, self-help programs tailored to the needs of specific smokers have shown promise in facilitating quitting.
To evaluate the incremental efficacy of the Committed Quitters Program (CQP), a set of computer-tailored materials offered to purchasers of nicotine polacrilex gum, compared with a brief untailored user's guide and audiotape, both as supplements to nicotine replacement therapy.
We conducted a randomized, open-label trial with 3 parallel arms. Subjects were smokers who purchased 2- or 4-mg nicotine polacrilex gum and called the CQP toll-free enrollment line. Three thousand six hundred twenty-seven subjects consented to participate in 1 of 3 study arms: (1) those receiving the CQP materials (CQP group, n=1217), (2) those receiving CQP materials and an outbound telephone call (CQP+C group, n=1207); and (3) those receiving no supplemental intervention beyond the user's guide and audiotape that were prepackaged with the nicotine polacrilex gum (UG group, n=1203). Twenty-eight–day continuous abstinence rates were assessed by telephone interviews at 6 weeks and 10-week continuous rates at 12 weeks into treatment.
Abstinence rates among respondents at the 6- and 12-week assessments were significantly higher for the CQP (36.2% and 27.6%) and CQP+C (35.5% and 27.3%) groups compared with the UG group (24.7% and 17.7%) at both intervals. The quit rates for the CQP and CQP+C groups were almost identical.
The CQP proved to be an effective behavioral treatment, enhancing quit rates over and above nicotine replacement therapy and a brief untailored written guide and audiotape.