Effect on Smoking Quit Rate of Telling Smokers their Health Risk Appraisal in Terms of Health Age: A Randomized Control Trial


Background: We evaluated whether providing health risk appraisal for Koreans (KHRA) in terms of ‘health age’ during smoking cessation program would effectively help smokers quit smoking or not. Materials and
Methods: A total of 332 male smokers aged between 30-65 years old, registered for a smoking cessation program in a public health center in a city, were recruited and underwent a baseline survey from January 2010 to February 2011. They were then prospectively randomized to a conventional counseling group (n=165) or a KHRA group (n=167), and received conventional counseling or KHRA-based counseling for six months. Abstinence rates were identified through carbon monoxide measurement (at the 4th and 24th weeks) or urinary cotinine level (at the 12th week).
Results: The abstinence rate confirmed by exhaled carbon monoxide was significantly higher in the KHRA group (61.1%) than the control group (49.1%) at the 4th week (absolute difference 12.0%, 95% CI: 1.4%-22.6%). However, there was no difference in abstinence rates between the two groups at the 12th and24th weeks. The predicting factors of 24 week’s smoking cessation success were age, older than 50 years old (OR 2.02, 95% CI: 1.16-3.52), lower Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence score less than 4 (OR 1.84, 95% CI: 1.03-3.29), and higher Self Efficacy/Temptation score (OR 1.79, 95% CI: 1.05-3.06).
Conclusions: Smoking cessation counseling with KHRA could be effective compared to conventional counseling in the short period of smoking cessation. Further study is needed to evaluate the long-term efficacy of KHRA in tobacco dependence treatment and to establish the indication and target population of this tool.