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Comparison of Allen Carr's Easyway programme with a specialist behavioural and pharmacological smoking cessation support service: a randomized controlled trial.

Frings, D; Albery, IP; Moss, AC; Brunger, H; Burghelea, M; White, S; Wood, KV (2020) Comparison of Allen Carr's Easyway programme with a specialist behavioural and pharmacological smoking cessation support service: a randomized controlled trial. Addiction, 115 (5). pp. 977-985. ISSN 1360-0443 https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14897
SGUL Authors: White, Sarah Jane

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: A combination of behavioural and pharmacological support is judged to be the optimal approach for assisting smoking cessation. Allen Carr's Easyway (ACE) is a single-session pharmacotherapy-free programme that has been in operation internationally for 38 years. We compared the effectiveness of ACE with specialist behavioural and pharmacological support delivered to the national standard in England. DESIGN: A two-arm, parallel-group, single-blind, randomized controlled trial. SETTING: London, UK, between February 2017 and May 2018. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 620 participants (310 in ACE and 310 in the combined behavioural and pharmacological support condition) were included in the analysis. Adult (≥ 18 years) smokers wanting to quit were randomized in a 1 : 1 ratio. Mean age for the total sample was 40.8 years, with 53.4% being male. Participant baseline characteristics (ethnicity, educational level, number of previous quit attempts, nicotine dependence) were evenly balanced between treatment groups. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: The intervention was the ACE method of stopping smoking. This centres on a 4.5-6-hour session of group-based support, alongside subsequent text messages and top-up sessions if needed. It aims to make it easy to stop smoking by convincing smokers that smoking provides no benefits for them. The comparator was a specialist stop smoking service (SSS) providing behavioural and pharmacological support in accordance with national standards. MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome was self-reported continuous abstinence for 26 weeks from the quit/quit re-set date verified by exhaled breath carbon monoxide measurement < 10 parts per million (p.p.m.). Primary analysis was by intention to treat. Secondary outcomes were: use of pharmacotherapy, adverse events and continuous abstinence up to 4 and 12 weeks. FINDINGS: A total of 468 participants attended treatment (255 ACE versus 213 SSS, P < 0.05). Of those who did attend treatment, 100 completed 6-month measures (23.7% ACE versus 20.7% SSS). Continuous abstinence to 26 weeks was 19.4% (60 of 310) in the ACE intervention and 14.8% (46 of 310) in the SSS intervention [risk difference for ACE versus SSS 4.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) = -1.4 to 10.4%, odds ratio (OR) = 1.38)]. The Bayes factor for superiority of the ACE condition was 1.24. CONCLUSION: There was no clear evidence of a difference in the efficacies of the Allen Carr's Easyway (ACE) and specialist smoking cessation support involving behavioural support and pharmacotherapy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: Allen Carr, NHS, cessation, randomised controlled trial, smoking, 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, Substance Abuse
SGUL Research Institute / Research Centre: Academic Structure > Population Health Research Institute (INPH)
Journal or Publication Title: Addiction
ISSN: 1360-0443
Language: eng
Dates:
DateEvent
12 April 2020Published
22 January 2020Published Online
8 November 2019Accepted
Publisher License: Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
PubMed ID: 31968400
Go to PubMed abstract
URI: http://openaccess.sgul.ac.uk/id/eprint/111521
Publisher's version: https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14897

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