Home > Print‐based self‐help interventions for smoking cessation.

Livingstone-Banks, Jonathan and Ordóñez‐Mena, Jose M and Hartmann‐Boyce, Jamie (2019) Print‐based self‐help interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1, DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001118.pub4.

External website: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/1...

We reviewed the evidence showing how effective printed self‐help materials are in helping people to quit smoking. We looked for studies of any type of printed self‐help that gave structured support and advice about quitting. This could include any booklets, leaflets, or information sheets that set out some kind of structured programme that someone could follow to help them quit smoking. We also included self‐help in audio or video format, but we did not include internet programmes or other formats. We were interested in the number of people who were not smoking for at least six months from the time they were given the self‐help materials. Studies had to include people who smoked, but those people did not need to be currently trying to quit smoking.

Conclusions: When no other support is available, written self‐help materials help more people to stop smoking compared with getting no help at all. People were more likely to make successful quit attempts when they were also given face‐to‐face support or nicotine replacement therapy, but printed self‐help did not make these people more likely to quit.

Self‐help materials that were tailored to help individual people are more effective than no help at all. However, tailoring these materials often involves more contact with the research team, and when we compared tailored self‐help with regular self‐help that involved the same amount of contact, we did not find a difference in quit rates.

The studies we found looked at self‐help given to people in high‐income countries, where more intensive support is often available. More research is needed to find out how well self‐help works for people in low‐ and middle‐income countries, where more intensive support is less available.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Review, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Harm reduction
January 2019
Identification #
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001118.pub4
Place of Publication

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