5 years' experience of the Quitline in Hungary: Where do we go next?
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National Koranyi Institute of Tuberculosis and Pulmonology, Budapest, Hungary
Publication date: 2021-12-10
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2021;7(Supplement):48
Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of developing smoking-related diseases. During the last ten years Hungary has strengthened its comprehensive tobacco control effort, and the anti-smoking measures have decreased the prevalence of smoking (2009: 31.4% to 2019: 27.3%). The Quitline was established in 2012, and since 2015 the National Koranyi Institute of Pulmonology National Methodology Centre for Smoking Cessation Support championed this service.

To assess the effectiveness of the Quitline and identify strategies for further development of the original World Health Organization (WHO) program along individual preferences.

Between 2015-2020 the Quitline conducted 12,159 calls with around 4,000 clients with whom a counseling process took place, and an additional 803 relatives who were interested in aiding smokers' cessation. Nearly half of the Centre's clients registered by telephone, and the rest were referred as patients. Common counseling topics were the improvement and maintenance of motivation and an overview of personal reasons (47%), overall reduction of smoking (35%), and problem solving and planning to cope with highly stressful situations (27%). In 2020 both the interest to quit and quit success rate declined significantly. Quit rate declined to 6.3 % from 17.9% (the average of previous years).

The Quitline allows to contact hard-to-reach groups of people and can provide tailored support in their fight to quit smoking. The significant decrease in quit rate in 2020 may be due to pandemic anxiety and maladaptive stress management. We are adapting to new circumstances to improve the help and motivation we can offer.

No Conflicts of Interest were reported.
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