Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Opportunistic Non-Governmental Organisation Delivery of a Virtual Stop Smoking Service in England during the COVID-19 Lockdown

Davies, Nathan P.; Callister, Matthew E.; Copeland, Harriet; Griffiths, Stuart; Holtam, Leah; Lambert, Paul; Mathur, Jacquelyn; Thorley, Rebecca; Murray, Rachael L.


Assistant Professor in Public Health

Matthew E. Callister

Harriet Copeland

Stuart Griffiths

Leah Holtam

Paul Lambert

Jacquelyn Mathur


Smoking cessation services have rapidly transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes include pivoting from face-to-face to telephone and video call support, remote provision of stop smoking aids and more flexible appointments. This study reports an evaluation of a charityled smoking cessation service rapidly conceived and launched in this context. The pilot service accepted self-referrals in Yorkshire, England from 20 May 2020 to 5 June 2020. A dedicated smoking cessation practitioner provided 12 weeks of weekly behavioural support over telephone or video call. NRT and/or medication and/or e-cigarettes were posted to the participant bi-weekly for up to 12 weeks. Written and telephone evaluation questionnaires were administered post-programme. Of 79 participants, 57 (72.2%) self-reported a 4-week quit and 51 (64.6%) self-reported a 12-week quit. Those concurrently using e-cigarettes and NRT had an 84.1% 12-week quit rate. The majority of participants chose to use e-cigarettes and NRT in combination (55.7%). 39 participants completed an evaluation form, with at least 90% recording they were "very satisfied" with each service component. 27 participants completed a telephone interview, reporting a relationship with practitioners, as well as convenience, and organisational reputation as service strengths. Virtual services can be set up quickly and effectively in response to demand. Quit rates were highest for those concurrently using e-cigarettes and NRT. Service users value flexibility and convenience of remote support and posting of quit aids.


Davies, N. P., Callister, M. E., Copeland, H., Griffiths, S., Holtam, L., Lambert, P., …Murray, R. L. (2022). Opportunistic Non-Governmental Organisation Delivery of a Virtual Stop Smoking Service in England during the COVID-19 Lockdown. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(13), Article 7722.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 22, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2022
Publication Date Jul 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 14, 2022
Journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Print ISSN 1661-7827
Electronic ISSN 1660-4601
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 13
Article Number 7722
Keywords Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis; Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations