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Research shows the mass distribution of free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a high-impact, population-level strategy for smoking cessation; but underrepresentation of younger, and/or lighter, smokers challenges generalisability of findings to young adult smokers.
This naturalistic study examined how and with what effect young adult smokers used free nicotine patches provided through a mass mailout programme.
In total, 5,025 eligible 18–29 year-old smokers who accessed an online ordering platform received self-help materials and an 8-week course of patches matched to their consumption level (<10 cigarettes per day (cpd); ≥10 cpd). No other behavioural support occurred. Whether participants used patches correctly and achieved 30-day continuous abstinence at 6-month follow-up were assessed.
Among 694 participants with complete data: 89% used some patches; 8% used the patches correctly for 8 weeks; 31.0% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 27.6, 34.7) achieved abstinence. Adjusted logistic regression analysis showed the highest odds of abstinence was associated with the correct use of patches (odds ratio = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.5, 5.1).
Mass distribution of free patches may be an effective public health measure for supporting younger, lighter smokers to attempt cessation, reduce consumption, or achieve abstinence. Emphasising why and how to use NRT for the entire treatment course may enhance outcomes.
The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing, first published in 2005, is a guide to the body of knowledge, theory, policy and practice relevant to age researchers and gerontologists around the world. It contains almost 80 original chapters, commissioned and written by the world's leading gerontologists from 16 countries and 5 continents. The broad focus of the book is on the behavioural and social sciences but it also includes important contributions from the biological and medical sciences. It provides comprehensive, accessible and authoritative accounts of all the key topics in the field ranging from theories of ageing, to demography, physical aspects of ageing, mental processes and ageing, nursing and health care for older people, the social context of ageing, cross cultural perspectives, relationships, quality of life, gender, and financial and policy provision. This handbook will be a must-have resource for all researchers, students and professionals with an interest in age and ageing.