New study supports Allen Carr's Easyway (ACE) method to quit smoking

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The largest and most authoritative research trial of its kind testing the Allen Carr's Easyway (ACE) method of quitting smoking has detected no difference in success rates between ACE and a specialist stop smoking service in the UK.

The research, conducted by the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research (CABR) at London South Bank University (LSBU) and St George's, University of London, is published today in the academic journal Addiction.

ACE produced an abstinence rate six months after the target quit date of 19 per cent, compared with 15 per cent for the specialist service. This independently conducted randomised controlled trial had 620 participants, with 310 in ACE and 310 in the specialist service. Abstinence from smoking was verified by measuring in the exhaled breath of participants.

The ACE method emphasises a drug-free approach to . ACE comprises a single (four and half to six hour long) group session with subsequent supportive text messages and top-up sessions if needed. It aims to convince smokers that smoking provides no benefits. In comparison, the from the UK National Health Service focuses on (NRT) or 'Champix' plus several weekly sessions of psychological support.

The results of the study reflect these different approaches: 91 per cent of specialist treatment participants who successfully quit used NRT, Champix or an e-cigarette. In contrast, in the ACE group, only 13 per cent of those who successfully quit used these products.

Professor Daniel Frings, from the research team, said "In a gold-standard randomised controlled trial, we observed levels of smoking quit rates indistinguishable from a specialist intervention combining 1-1 psychological support with NRT. These findings offer compelling support for the efficacy of the ACE method for smoking cessation."

Evaluating the effectiveness of the ACE method is important as it offers a drug-free method of cessation that can be delivered in group therapy sessions. As such, it may offer a viable cost-effective additional treatment option in public/funded healthcare settings.

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More information: Daniel Frings et al, Comparison of Allen Carr's Easyway programme with a specialist behavioural and pharmacological smoking cessation support service: a randomized controlled trial, Addiction (2020). DOI: 10.1111/add.14897
Journal information: Addiction

Provided by Society for the Study of Addiction
Citation: New study supports Allen Carr's Easyway (ACE) method to quit smoking (2020, January 23) retrieved 23 May 2022 from
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