The Danish model for smoking cessation
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Danish Health Authority, Copenhagen, Denmark
Publication date: 2020-10-22
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2020;6(Supplement):A48
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A focus area in Denmark is to reduce social inequality in health, and it is evident that smoking plays a significant negative role. There is a need for a focus on initiatives that reduce barriers for receiving professional cessation counselling. In Denmark, municipalities are responsible for smoking cessation.

The aim is to reduce the number of smokers participating in professional cessation counselling by increasing referrals and proactive recruitment and making cessation medications more available to all income groups.

Two national grants enabled Danish municipalities to work on the targeted aims. The target groups were heavy smokers and socially vulnerable, respectively. The Danish Health Authority evaluated the effects of the projects.

The target group were more likely to complete a course compared with other participants. Regarding the grants, targeting the socially vulnerable, 74% of the target group were smoke-free by the completion of the course, for participants who did not receive subsidized smoking cessation medications that number was 66%. After six months, the percentage of smoke-free participants were 48% and 42%, respectively.

Subsidized smoking cessation medicine has a positive and statistically significant effect on the likelihood of the participant staying smoke-free six months after the cessation course, even when the cost is only partially covered. Receiving subsidized smoking cessation medications can help local cessation services recruiting the target group, but it can also have a stigmatizing effect that some participants are ‘labelled’, i.e. socially vulnerable.

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