Quitline Activity in the Republic of Korea


Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of Korea


To reduce tobacco use and related harm in Korea, telephone based cessation services (Quitlines) began full
operation to provide regular behavioral counseling for smoking cessation in 2006. After registration in the cessation
program, at least 21 calls per year are given to each client to help quit and encourage maintenance. Tailored
programs for males, females, and adolescent smokers have been offered taking into account smokers'
characteristics and smoking behavior. Mailing self-help quit packs and e-mail and SMS services are allowable
as additional services.A total of 23,201 smokers were registered on the Quitline program from 2006 to 2014.
In 2014, an average of 13,343 calls per month have been received by 28 coaches, the 1 year abstinence rate of
clients is 26%, and clients' satisfaction rate is 81.6%. After introduction of the call system in 2007, client
convenience and effective operations have been achieved with high technology support of a computer-based
telephone system. Systematic education and evaluation programs for quit coaches have contributed to quality
assurance of the services. Currently, research into development of new programs and evaluation of Quitline
performance is being undertaken. A Comprehensive Multi-channel Cessation Center (CMCC) has been suggested
and is now planned as a next step in the national program for smoking cessation.