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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: To describe the New Zealand smokers' free telephone service, the Quitline, and the provision of subsidised nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) through a voucher scheme, and to outline the effectiveness of this service. This nationwide service aims to increase access to NRT and enhance quitting support for smokers.
Methods: An extensive independent evaluation of the Quitline was undertaken in 2003. Evaluation activities included a longitudinal study of a cohort of callers who were followed up three times during the twelve months after calling the Quitline. Smoking cessation was measured as self-reported 7-day point-prevalence quit and 6-month continuous quit. Analysis was conducted by intention-to-treat.
Results: The evaluation found that delivery of subsidised NRT through the Quitline enables large numbers of smokers to access NRT and that the process of sending vouchers for NRT and information to users works well. The Quitline assists between 30,000 and 40,000 callers to quit per annum from a smoking population of 750,000. Of the 2,002 callers who completed the initial three-week interview, 1280 (64%) and 841 (42%) were successfully followed-up at six and 12 months respectively. At six months, the point prevalence cessation rate was 20.8%, while at 12 months 13.2% of callers had successfully quit. Use of NRT and number of conversations with Quitline advisors were significant predictors of quitting success. This study demonstrates how offering heavily subsidised NRT through a voucher scheme as an adjunct to telephone counselling has the potential to enhance quit rates and that each component plays an important role in quit attempts.