BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Reducing smoking prevalence among smokers from low socio-economic status (SES) is a preventative health priority. Financial stress (e.g. shortage of money or inability to pay bills) may be a major barrier to quitting smoking. This study evaluates the efficacy of a financial education and support programme coupled with pharmacotherapy at improving cessation rates at 8-month follow-up among Australian low SES smokers (people receiving a government pension or allowance).
DESIGN: A two-group parallel block randomized (ratio 1 : 1) open-label clinical trial (RCT) with allocation concealment will be conducted. Allocation will be concealed to interviewers at data collection-points.
SETTING: The study will be conducted primarily by telephone with baseline, follow-up interviews and telephone-based support sessions. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) delivery will be mail-based.
PARTICIPANTS: Daily smokers who are interested in quitting smoking and are currently in receipt of government benefits (n = 1046) will be recruited through study advertisements placed in newspapers, posters placed in government social assistance agencies and Quitline telephone-based cessation support services. After completion of a baseline computer-assisted telephone interview, participants will be allocated randomly to control or intervention group using a permuted block approach.
INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Participants in both groups will receive 8 weeks of free combination NRT plus Quitline support. Participants in the intervention group will also receive four telephone-delivered financial education and support sessions.
MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcome measure will be prolonged abstinence (at 8-month follow-up) assessed using Russell Standard criteria and biochemically verified (urine cotinine).
COMMENTS: This is the first intervention study to evaluate the potential of co-managing financial stress as a means of enhancing smokers' capacity to quit smoking. Such an intervention may provide a scalable intervention to help low SES smokers to quit.
- Intervention studies
- intervention studies
- low income population
- randomized controlled trial
- smoking cessation
- social class
- socio-economic factors
- socio-economic status