Table 1: Descriptions of smoking cessation interventions

Intervention Description
Nicotine gum (4 mg) The gum is a form of nicotine replacement therapy that replaces some of the nicotine to which smokers are accustomed. Like other NRTs, the gum is used in decreasing doses over a 10-week treatment period, which reduces withdrawal symptoms. It is available through prescription or over-the-counter. Its use follows specific recommendations (chew slowly or chew and park for 20 minutes), given by healthcare professionals (doctor, pharmacist, nurse) or specified in the accompanying pamphlet. Empirical evidence indicates that the 4mg gum is the most effective NRT for smokers with high levels of nicotine dependence over a short period (< 12 months). Possible side effects are hiccoughs, jaw pain, gastric upset, and oro-dental problems.
Brief individual advice The brief individual advice is given by healthcare professionals who: assess the persons’ smoking status and readiness to quit; advise about the importance of cessation and the benefits of quitting; offer support, information, and resources about smoking cessation; set the date for and discuss strategies to facilitate quitting. The advice is provided in 1-3 minutes, during a clinic visit. It was found minimally effective in improving abstinence rates. There are no reported risks.
Group behavioral therapy The group behavioral therapy involves three components: 1) discussion of reasons for smoking, the perceived positive and negative outcomes of quitting, and strategies to deal with high-risk situations; 2) application of the cessation strategies in daily life; and 3) provision of support and reinforcement for the application of the strategies. The therapy is implemented in a group format (8-10 persons) in 4 sessions facilitated by a therapist. Empirical evidence shows moderate effectiveness of behavioral therapy in increasing abstinence and dealing with craving. There are no reported risks.