Introduction Evidence had shown that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is effective to help smokers quit. Many studies reported a positive linear relationship between adherence and cessation rates however, adherence to NRT among unmotivated smokers is uncertain.
Methods Chinese smokers who aged ≥18, had no intention to quit within 4-week and had no contraindication to NRT were recruited and randomly allocated to Group A1, A2 and B in a RCT. Only Group A1 and A2 were provided 8-week free NRT. We reported 8-week adherence rate to NRT at 3-month and reasons for non-compliance among subjects in Group A1 and A2.
Results From October 2004 to April 2007, 1154 smokers were recruited (Group A1=479; A2=449; B=226). Subjects in Group A1 and A2 (n=928) were 42.0±10.3 year-old and smoked 19.6±9.4 cigarettes daily on average. We contacted 797 subjects (85.9%) for 3-month follow-up, but those who did not receive 8-week free NRT (n=115; 14.4%) were removed from the analysis. 55.4% (378/682) used NRT as the recommended regime, 41.6% (284/682) did not fully comply with the prescription and 3.0% (20/682) even did not use it. Among 304 (n=284+20) who did not comply, “Forget to use” (24.0%) and “Side effects” (14.5%) are the two most cited reasons for non-compliance.
Conclusion The adherence rate in this study is more encouraging compared to a local study (20%) which only provided 1-week free NRT. Thus, providing the entire course of free NRT seems to yield an improved NRT adherence among unmotivated Chinese smokers.
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