UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - UKNSCC
2009 UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - London more...

Spontaneous quitting
Rachael Murray, Cancer Research UK Graduate Training Fellow, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Hospital,UK


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Rachael Murray

Using behavioural support and pharmacotherapy substantially increases the likelihood of success in any attempt to quit smoking, but their use in practice generally requires some degree of advance planning. However, recent evidence from Canada and the UK indicates that a substantial proportion of quit attempts are made spontaneously, without planning. UK smoking cessation services are used by more than 600,000 smokers annually and can provide all smokers who want to quit smoking with support, but accessing these services spontaneously or at short notice is not usually possible.

This presentation will give an overview of what is known about spontaneous quit attempts drawing on recent quantitative and qualitative research. Unplanned quit attempts are common among smokers in all socio-demographic groups, are commonly triggered by advice from a health professional, and more likely to succeed; however the majority of these unplanned attempts are unsupported. Qualitative research has shown that there are two clear categories of spontaneous quit attempts, depending on whether they are put in place immediately or delayed. Furthermore, smokers and ex-smokers are receptive to the idea of support being immediately available for spontaneous quit attempts. The implications of these findings for the smoking cessation services will be discussed. In particular, it appears important to develop methods of providing behavioural and/or pharmacological support for spontaneous attempts which can be made available within a very short timescale, and determine whether these increase cessation rates further.


About the presenter
I am currently a Cancer Research UK Graduate Training Fellow at the University of Nottingham, part of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies. My research and PhD has focused on investigating smokers’ use of effective cessation support, and am currently investigating unplanned attempts to quit smoking.


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