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There is clear evidence that both individual counselling (RR 1.39; 95% CI: 1.24–1.57)145 and group counselling (RR 1.98; 95% CI: 1.60–2.46)146 increase quit rates over approaches where there is minimal support.
Individual counselling typically involves weekly face-to-face meetings between a smoker and a counsellor trained in smoking cessation over a period of at least 4 weeks after the quit date and is normally combined with pharmacotherapy. Group behaviour therapy involves scheduled meetings (typically 4–8) where smokers receive information, advice and encouragement and some form of behavioural intervention.144
Counselling should include practical advice consisting of problem solving and skills training, and social support as part of the treatment. Group techniques, which focus on skills training and provide mutual support, can also be effective for those who find this method appropriate.54
In some states, quitlines keep registers of local support programs led by approved providers.