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Repeated, Intensive Interventions Increase the Likelihood that a Smoker Will Quit Successfully


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-- How Will You Use This Story? --


(OPEN):
A NEW STUDY FINDS THAT PERSISTENCE HELPS, WHEN QUITTING SMOKING.  THE STUDY--PUBLISHED IN "ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE"--FINDS THAT REPEATED, INTENSIVE INTERVENTIONS INCREASE THE LIKELIHOOD THAT A SMOKER WILL QUIT SUCCESSFULLY.  STUDY AUTHOR, DOCTOR EDWARD ELLERBECK...

(ELLERBECK):
"I THINK THIS STUDY IS NEWS BECAUSE IT REALLY SHOWS THAT WE CAN ENGAGE SMOKERS IN TREATMENT, FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME: THAT--FOR UP TO TWO YEARS, WITH UP TO FOUR CYCLES OF SMOKING CESSATION--WE CAN ENGAGE SMOKERS; AND THAT, BY CONTINUING TO ENGAGE THEM, THEY CAN HAVE PROGRESSIVELY BETTER SMOKING-CESSATION RATES.
"

(BRIDGE):
61-YEAR-OLD CAROL TOMPKINS TOOK PART IN THE STUDY--AFTER SMOKING, OFF AND ON, FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS...

(TOMPKINS):
"THE LONGER I WAS IN THE PROGRAM, THE LESS TEMPTING IT WAS.  BUT, RIGHT AT FIRST--YES--IT WAS VERY TEMPTING.  BUT THEN, I HAD TO CONVINCE MYSELF THAT, 'HEY, I'M IN THIS FOR THE LONG HAUL; I WANT TO QUIT.  AND, IT'S NOT WORTH IT FOR ME TO START AGAIN.'  SO, AFTER A WHILE, IT CEASED TO BE A PROBLEM.
"

(CLOSE):
THE STUDY LOOKED AT 750 SMOKERS WHO SMOKED AT LEAST A HALF A PACK, A DAY.  OVER A TWO-YEAR PERIOD, PHYSICIANS OFFERED AN INTERVENTION EVERY SIX MONTHS WITH MEDICATION--OR MEDICATION PLUS INTENSIVE COUNSELING.  THE MORE ATTEMPTS SMOKERS MADE, THE MORE LIKELY THEY WERE TO QUIT.



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