Smoking cessation at the workplace: 1 year success of short seminars


Objectives: In search of less time-consuming methods of smoking cessation Allen Carr’ seminars performed at workplaces in Austria were evaluated. Methods: Of all the 357 smokers attending a seminar in summer 2002, 308 (86%), consented to participate in a repeated health survey, including the SF-36 questionnaire. After 3 months 268 (87%) gave computer-aided telephone interviews and 223 (72%) after 1 year. Analysis by logistic regression was done separately for males and females. Results: The 1-year quit rate was 40% (worst case assumption) to 55% (best estimate). In 96% of quitters an intensive counseling for 6 h without pharmaceutical aid thereafter was sufficient to maintain abstinence for 12 months. A long smoking history or many earlier unsuccessful attempts to quit did not predict failure. The risk of relapse was found higher in young men with a high number of pack-years and in women with good physical fitness but high Fagerstroem score and financial reasons for the intention to quit smoking. While an average weight gain of 3 kg in males was not associated with failure to quit smoking, we found the highest weight gain (4 kg) in females in the group abstinent at 3 months but smoking again at 12 months. In all participants subjective life quality scored by SF-36 improved. In quitters perception of general health improved more. Conclusions: Group counseling at the workplace was found to be an efficient method of smoking cessation, capable of increasing subjective life quality and health and to smooth the way to smoke-free enterprises.

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There are no financial or other competing interests of the authors, but we acknowledge that Easyway Austria agreed to distribute questionnaires at the beginning of the seminars, to obtain written consent for two telephone interviews thereafter and to cover the costs of these interviews performed by an independent company. We gratefully acknowledge that Eric Stadler (marketmind, Vienna) supplied the original data.

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Correspondence to M Neuberger.

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Hutter, H., Moshammer, H. & Neuberger, M. Smoking cessation at the workplace: 1 year success of short seminars. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 79, 42–48 (2006).

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  • Smoking cessation
  • Workplace
  • Group counseling
  • Health survey
  • SF-36