Relatively few studies have investigated pharmacological or behavioral treatment of smokeless tobacco (ST) users who do not have immediate quit plans. In this study, we compared a reduction treatment approach with an immediate cessation approach in a population of ST users who reported no immediate plans to quit.
Subjects randomly assigned to the immediate cessation condition set a quit date soon after enrollment and were offered 2 weeks of nicotine patch therapy to help in their cessation efforts. Subjects assigned to the ST reduction group were provided with their choice of either 4 mg nicotine lozenge or ST brand switching to help them reduce their ST use or levels of nicotine exposure, respectively. Quit date was 6 weeks after the onset of treatment. Follow-up was at 12 weeks and 26 weeks postenrollment and 26 weeks postquit.
Both 7-day point prevalence abstinence and prolonged abstinence rates following the quit date were significantly higher in the immediate cessation group versus the reduction group at 12 and 26 weeks (all p values ≤ .04) and for prolonged abstinence at 6 months postquit (p = .002). Significant reductions in ST use among nonquitters were observed for both groups (p < .0001) with no differences between groups.
Our study demonstrated that immediate cessation with an established quit date resulted in greater cessation success than a gradual reduction approach among ST users who do not have an immediate quit plan but are motivated to quit.