Cigarette smoking is increasingly concentrated among marginalized populations with limited access to evidence-based cessation treatment. This includes racial/ethnic minorities, lower income individuals, those with lower educational attainment, and residents of rural areas. To reach Healthy People 2020 objectives, successful cessation interventions must narrow these disparities. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) sampling is an easily translatable and scalable intervention that could enhance treatment access and thus narrow disparities. The present study examined individual-level demographic moderators of the impact of NRT sampling on cessation-related behaviors including: 1) use of a cessation medication, 2) making a 24-hour quit attempt, 3) floating abstinence, and 4) 7-day point prevalence abstinence at 6-months. Study participants included N = 1245 adult smokers enrolled in the Tobacco Intervention in Primary Care Treatment Opportunities for Providers (TIP TOP) study, a recently concluded large-scale clinical trial of NRT sampling relative to standard care within 22 primary care clinics across South Carolina. Generalized linear models examined individual-level demographic moderators of treatment effect. Results suggest that NRT sampling may be more effective among some of the most disadvantaged groups of smokers, including smokers with lower income and education, as well those who live in more rural areas. The effects of NRT sampling did not differ by race. In sum, NRT sampling is a low-cost, low-burden intervention that could be disseminated broadly to reach large numbers of smokers and potentially narrow cessation disparities.
Prev Med (Preventive medicine)
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