Quitline in smoking cessation
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Maria Sklodowska - Curie Institute - Oncology Centre, Poland
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(Supplement):A140
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Tobacco smoking is still the leading cause of premature mortality in Europe. Thus article 14 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) states that “each Party shall develop and disseminate appropriate, comprehensive and integrated guidelines based on scientific evidence and best practices (…) shall take effective measures to promote cessation of tobacco use and adequate treatment for tobacco dependence”. One of the effective methods used in comprehensive therapy is behavioural counselling and element of such counselling is Quitline. In article 14 of FCTC is written that all Parties should offer quitlines in which callers can receive advice from trained cessation specialists. A quitline is a telephone counselling service where smokers can receive information, advice and support. It can be provided both reactive and proactive counselling. Ideally Quitline offer proactive support. A reactive quitline provides an immediate response to a call initiated by the tobacco user, but responds only to incoming calls. A proactive quitline involves setting up a schedule of planned calls to tobacco users. According to review in Cochrane library three or more calls increase the chances of quitting compared to a minimal intervention such as providing standard self‐help materials, or brief advice, or compared to pharmacotherapy alone.
Quitline can work as a stand-alone service, however it works best as a part of an overall tobacco control programme, which might include dedicated website, smoking cessation clinics, and health education campaigns.
Benefits of quitline service: professional help, cheap for both: client and funder, access for those living in small towns and villages, immediate intervention in the crisis, possibility of permanent contact with the specialist, possibility of a long-term consultation.
Polish Quitline established in 1996 as a first national quitline in Central and Eastern Europe. It offers proactive service to its client. Quitline number is on every cigarette pack.
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