A pilot study showed that smoking cessation intervention tailored to rheumatoid arthritis patients was no better than advice and nicotine replacement therapy in helping the smokers quit.

At 6 months, smoking-cessation rates between the intervention (26%) and control arms (21%) were not significantly different. Among those who quit smoking, the average continuous abstinence time was 125 days, Lisa K. Stamp, PhD, of the University of Otago in Christchurch, and colleagues reported in Arthritis Care & Research.

In addition, the number of cigarettes smoked per day declined from 16.6 at baseline to 9.9 at 6 months in the intervention arm, with a similar reduction in the control arm, from 16.4 at baseline to 8.6 at 6 months.

“No statistically significant differences between quit rates at 6 months were demonstrated between the tailored intervention and standard smoking-cessation advice, nor was there a difference in sustained reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked per day,” the researchers wrote.

They recruited adults with a diagnosis of RA from a single center to participate, and randomized 39 in a 1:1 ratio to usual care or an intervention arm. The group randomized to usual care followed a conventional smoking-cessation program, which involved a rheumatology nurse asking about smoking status, giving brief advice to stop smoking, and providing support in the form of nicotine-replacement therapy for 8 weeks.

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