The impact of smoking cessation practitioners' smoking history, training and attitudes on self-reported quit rates
Dr Natasha Anastasi and Dr Joanne Lusher
Dr Natasha Anastasi Health Psychologist/Stop Smoking Specialist, QMUL - Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, London
Smoking rates in England have fallen to their lowest rate in over eighty years1 despite this reduction, smoking remains UK’s biggest preventable cause of premature illness and mortality2. It has been acknowledged that specialist Stop Smoking support programmes have helped reduce smoking prevalence3. However, service uptake and quit rates vary dramatically particularly within London4. There has, been little research into the reasons for these variances.
This study aimed to explore potential variables contributing to the variability and collated information on: advisor smoking status (historic and current), attitude towards smoking, and number of patients recruited onto the stop smoking programme, to assess what impact, if any, they had on clinical effectiveness.
This study implemented a quantitative cross-sectional survey design, consisting of Stop Smoking advisors (n=159) from 24 London boroughs. A regression analysis was carried out using an ordinal logistic regression. It was found that proportion of time spent delivering stop smoking support was the only significant variable that positively impacted on self-reported quit rate with an odds ratio of 1.32 (95% CI, 0.78 to 0.48), Wald χ2 (1) = 45.816, p < 0.05. The regression model showed no significant impact of the other variables investigated.
This study concludes that tobacco status - current or previous - is not shown to affect smoking cessation practitioner success rate. This result could help to encourage the ethos that smoking cessation advisors do not have to have been smokers in order to be effective at providing support and reinforces the need for specialist support services as previously suggested 5.
1.Brown, J., & West, R. (2014). Smoking prevalence in England is below 20% for the first time in 80 years. British medical journal, 348 (119), 1378. doi:10.1136/bmj.g1378.
2. Twigg, L., Moon, G., & Walker, S. (2004). The smoking epidemic in England. London: Health Development Agency. Retrieved on 1st June 2014 from: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/12146/1/smoking_epidemic.pdf
3. Bauld, L., Bell, K., McCullough, L., Richardson, L., & Greaves, L. (2009). The effectiveness of NHS smoking cessation services: a systematic review. Journal Of Public Health, 32(1), 71-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdp074
4. Brose, L.S., McEwen, A., & West, R. (2012). Does it matter who you see to help you stop smoking? Short-term quit rates across specialist stop smoking practitioners in England. Addiction, 107(11), 2029–2036. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03935.x
5. Department of Health (DoH): Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS (2010) Retrieved on 1st July 2014 from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213823/dh_117794.pdf
Dr N Anastasi BSc, MSc and ProfDoc in health psychology. I have been working in the field of smoking cessation for over six years, during which I have worked in a variety of settings, including primary care and secondary care acute settings. I have also worked within public health, commissioning stop smoking services and lead on the development and delivery of stop smoking advisor trainings . I am currently working at Queen Mary university’s Wolfson institute of Preventive Medicine within the specialist stop smoking clinic, providing stop smoking support and facilitating in the delivery of research within the field.