Randomised controlled trial investigating the impact of incorporating a 10-minute point of care test for salivary nicotine metabolites into a general practice-based smoking cessation programme

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Objective To investigate the effect of immediate feedback from a point of care test for salivary nicotine metabolites in promoting smoking cessation and reduction in tobacco use. Design Prospective, operator blinded, randomised controlled trial. Setting General dental practice, London. Participants 100 adult smokers. Interventions Participants completed a questionnaire on smoking, undertook a clinical examination, and received counselling in smoking cessation. Saliva samples were analysed at presentation and at eight weeks for salivary nicotine metabolites using a 10 minute semiquantitative point of care test. Main outcome measures Smoking cessation measured by salivary nicotine metabolite values (scale 0-6), patient feedback on the perceived value of the test (visual analogue scale) in quitting, and reduction in tobacco use. Results A higher smoking quit rate was achieved with the point of care test (23% cases v 7% controls; P <0.039), and overall tobacco use also decreased (68% cases v 28% controls; P <0.001). Baseline values for salivary nicotine metabolites did not differ between the groups (cases, mean 4.1, SD 1.3 and controls, 4.3, 1.4; P = 0.51). 87 participants reattended at eight weeks (44 cases, 43 controls). Mean nicotine metabolite values at eight weeks were 2.58 (2.0) for cases and 4.29 (1.8) for controls (P <0.001). Conclusion Incorporation of individualised personal feedback using a point of care test for salivary nicotine metabolites into a general practice based smoking cessation programme increased quit rates by 17% at eight weeks and reduced tobacco use.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1002
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2005

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