This evidence report is a systematic review examining the scientific literature to identify what interventions are most effective for encouraging older smokers to quit. This review was conducted in coordination with the panel convened by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to revise the smoking cessation clinical guideline. The key findings from this report are that individual, telephone, and group counseling, and pharmacotherapy are all effective in promoting smoking cessation. Furthermore, patients visiting physicians trained in smoking cessation had higher cessation rates than those who visited untrained physicians. Health insurance benefits for both counseling and nicotine replacement therapy produced the greatest number of quitters. HCFA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the Administration on Aging are collaborating on a Demonstration Project to test the effectiveness of Medicare smoking cessation benefits in seven states (Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming).
Reprinted with permission from Office of Research, Development, and Information Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.