Turkish Thoracic Journal
Original Article

Providing Free Access to Smoking Cessation Medications: Does It Have an Impact on the Treatment Adherence and Success of Smoking Cessation?


Incirliova District Health Directorate, Aydın, Turkey


Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Adnan Menderes University, Aydın, Turkey

Turk Thorac J 2021; 22: 224-230
DOI: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2021.20124
Read: 119 Downloads: 15 Published: 03 June 2021

OBJECTIVE: Providing medications to patients free of charge is thought to be one of the factors affecting the success of smoking cessation. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of providing free access to stop-smoking medications on the treatment adherence and short term success of quitting smoking.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: All smokers who applied to a smoking cessation outpatient clinic between September 2017 and December 2019 were included in this retrospective study. Data were collected from patients’ files filled using an initial evaluation and follow-up protocol.

RESULTS: During the study period, 518 smokers applied to our polyclinic for smoking cessation counseling. Medical therapy was prescribed for 411 (85.4%) of 481 patients who were supported by behavioral therapy. The patients had a mean age of 41.2 years, and 64.7% were male. Only 22.9% of smokers prescribed stop-smoking medications were able to obtain them for free. Patients who got the medications completely free of charge were 4 times more adherent to treatment. The success rate of quitting smoking at the end of the third month was 22.2%. The strongest effect was achieved by the full treatment compliance. At the end of 3 months, the success of quitting smoking was 14.1 times higher for those who were fully adherent to treatment than non-adherents.

DISCUSSION: According to our study results, the most effective success factors in short-term smoking cessation are patient compliance to treatment and free supply of stop-smoking medications, one of the main determinants of treatment adherence.

Cite this article as: Aksel O, Küçüktepe N, Yaslıca Z, Başak O. Providing free access to smoking cessation medications: Does it have an impact on the treatment adherence and success of smoking cessation?. Turk Thorac J. 2021; 22(3): 224-230.

EISSN 2149-2530