Smokers are twice as likely to kick the habit if they use a support group rather than trying to give up alone, according to a new study from the University of Bath.
Researchers at the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies led by Dr Linda Bauld at Bath, along with colleagues from the University of Glasgow, compared the success and cost-effectiveness of two types of stop smoking support services offered by the NHS.
These are community-based group stop smoking support and one-to-one support provided in a pharmacy setting.
The researchers found that more than a third of smokers using support groups quit smoking after four weeks; almost double the proportion of those using a pharmacy-based support scheme to help them quit.
"These findings agree with previous research which shows that smokers who used a support group were more likely to quit," Bauld said.
"We need to get the message across that group support, combined with stop smoking medications, works well for many people," Bauld added.
Professor Carol Tannahill, Director of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, said: "Many smokers feel that they have to manage to give up smoking on their own, yet there are now a range of services available to support smokers to quit. This research sets out to examine how effective different services are, and what factors may influence outcomes."
The study is published in the February issue of Addiction journal.