Study shows patients more likely to quit smoking when connected directly to quit line
A recent study assessed the value of an “Ask-Advise-Connect” approach when encouraging smokers toward tobacco cessation treatment. Study results showed that smokers contacted directly by a tobacco cessation quit line are 13 times more likely to enroll in a smoking cessation program compared with smokers urged to call the quit line on their own.
Ten clinics participated in the study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Five clinics were randomly chosen to implement an Ask-Advise-Connect approach, and the remaining 5 clinics used an Ask-Advise-Refer approach. All participating clinics employed the programs for 9 months.
In Ask-Advise-Connect clinics, the research team received contact information of patients willing to be contacted by the quit line, and quit line staff called patients within 48 hours of receiving their information.
In Ask-Advise-Refer clinics, the research team received contact information of patients who accepted a quit line referral card, and quit line staff tracked those patients who called the quit line on their own.
Study results showed that, of all smokers identified at Ask-Advise-Connect clinics, 7.8% enrolled in treatment with the quit line. However, only 0.6% of all smokers identified at Ask-Advise-Refer clinics enrolled in treatment. Thus, a patient’s direct connection to the quit line resulted in a 13-fold increase in treatment enrollment.
According to Jennifer Irvin Vidrine, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Health Disparities Research at MD Anderson and lead investigator on the study, “The findings reflect one of the highest rates of tobacco cessation treatment enrollment reported in the literature to date.”
The study is published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.