Efficacy of Telephone Quit-Line for Smokers in Iran: 12 Months Follow Up Results


1 Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center,

2 Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center

3 Chronic Respiratory Disease Research Center, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Smoking cessation is an effective intervention for cancer prevention. For some reasons many smokers cannot attend quit programs and they prefer to have a consultation over the phone. In this study we share our experience regarding setting up a quit-line for smoking cessation for the first time in Iran. Materials and Methods: Two general practitioners were trained to give consultation over the phone via quit line in Tehran. The quit program consisted of 4 sessions with 1 week interval. Our telephone counseling was both reactive and proactive from 8 AM till 5 PM during the years 2005 – 2008. In reactive counseling, the smoker initiates the call and speaks with a counselor about his/her current concerns. In proactive counseling, the counselor calls the smoker and provides counseling in a systematic manner. Smoking status was determined based on smokers’ self-report and regular follow-ups were conducted after quitting. Some cases were randomly selected for CO respiratory test in order to confirm their abstinence. Results: A total of 480 cases entered the cessation program out of which, 80% were males. The mean age was 38.5±7.9 years, 72.7% of participants were married, 75.2% of subjects were educated and 51.3% of cases had high nicotine dependence. A total of 332 cases received a brief advice on quitting, 148 people continued their active participation to complete the course and 122 cases (82.4%) quitted smoking. The sustained abstinence rate after 1, 3, 6 and 12 months was 59 %, 41 %, 31% and 18%; respectively. Conclusion: This method is an appropriate and accessible method which can be suggested to smokers during smoking cessation counseling. (Tanaffos2011; 10(3): 42-48)