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Findings Series 20 - Models of smoking treatment

Date: August 2009
Category: Briefing Paper
Author: GCPH

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This briefing paper outlines the findings from a study, commissioned by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health  which examined the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the two main types of support for smokers who want to quit in Glasgow.

The study had four main aims:

  1. To asses the short (four week) and longer term (52 week) outcomes associated with each model of service.
  2. To explore what factors (client and/or service characteristics) influence outcomes.
  3. To examine the relationship between costs and outcomes for the two models of service.
  4. To assess how effective the services are in reaching and treating clients from disadvantaged parts of the city. 


Key findings of this paper include:

  • Cotinine validated four week quit rates were 35.5% for group clients and 18.6% for pharmacy clients. 
  • Both models of service in Glasgow were reaching and treating smokers from disadvantaged areas in significant numbers.
  • Only 3.6% were cotinine validated as non-smokers at 52 week follow up. 
  • Clients who were treated in groups were still more likely to have remained abstinent at 52 weeks than those who accessed the pharmacy service. 
  • Older smokers, more affluent smokers and those who were extremely determined to quit were all less likely to relapse.
  • Both the pharmacy and group support services are cost-effective and co-exist to provide a comprehensive smoking cessation service across Glasgow.