New research has found that 24.2% of people who quit smoking with Quitline in the past year were still smokefree after six months. In 2007, the last time a similar evaluation was conducted, the result was 20.9% - a clear improvement to the Quitline quit rate has been achieved.
This substantive increase is attributed to the development of Quitline's 'multi-channel' cessation support service that provides clients with a full stop-smoking service online at www.quit.org.nz as well as on the phone.
Quitline Chief Executive, Paula Snowden, says: "We are extremely pleased that the quit rate is high and has improved significantly on the 2007 result. Nearly a quarter of Quitline clients are smokefree at six months. Given that the quit rate for people who quit without any support might be 4% at best, people who use Quitline services are much, much more likely to successfully quit smoking than those who go it alone.
"We know that it's not easy to quit smoking but this research shows that over the past year, 15,000 New Zealanders who signed up to our services successfully rid themselves of this terrible addiction. This is more than double the 7,200 we got over the line in 2007, so it's really pleasing to see that we are making a big difference to the lives of so many people."
The aim of the research, which was carried out by Gravitas Research and Strategy Limited, was to measure the effectiveness of the Quitline service. For the first time, the evaluation looked at how all of Quitline's services including phone, online, blog, text, online coaching and emails, support successful quitting.
Paula continues: "One of the most striking findings from the research is the positive relationship between increased service use and better quit rates. For instance, the quit rate for people who only used the phone service only is 21.1%, the rate for those who used online only 25.7% but the rate for those that used both the phone and online is 30.6%.
"With this robust research, we can be really confident that Quitline offers a genuine multi-channel service which effectively supports clients to become smokefree."
Quitline was initially established in 1999 as a telephone service. In recent years, the organisation has increased its online and text support capacity. Clients can now get a full online service at www.quit.org.nz and are encouraged to use a combination of online tools and phone-based support.
In 2011 Quitline supported over 60,000 Quit Attempts. Over 5,000 people use Quitline's blogging community at www.quit.org.nz/blog. Quitline also has a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/quitlinenz
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