Feasibility and Acceptability of a Telephone-Based Smoking Cessation Intervention for Qatari Residents

Vasiliki Leventakou, Mohammed Al Thani, Angeliki Sofroniou, Hamza I. Butt, Safa M. Eltayeb, Iman A. Hakim, Cynthia Thomson, Uma S. Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The steady increase in smoking rates has led to a call for wide-reaching and scalable interventions for smoking cessation in Qatar. This study examined the feasibility and acceptability of an evidence-based smoking cessation program delivered by telephone for Qatari residents. A total of 248 participants were recruited through primary care centers and received five weekly scheduled proactive behavioral counseling calls from personnel trained in tobacco cessation and navigation to obtain cessation pharmacotherapy from clinics. Outcomes were assessed at end of treatment (EOT), and 1- and-3-month follow up. The Mann–Whitney test was used to compare the average number of participants recruited per month pre- and post-COVID. We recruited 16 participants/month, the majority (85.5%) attended at least one counselling session, and 95.4% used some of pharmacotherapy. Retention rates were 70% at EOT, 64.4% and 71.7% at 1- and 3-month follow up, respectively; 86% reported being ‘extremely satisfied’ by the program. Our ITT 7-day point prevalence abstinence was 41.6% at EOT, 38.4% and 39.3% at 1-and 3-month, respectively. The average number of participants recruited per month was significantly higher for pre vs. post-COVID (18.9 vs. 10.0, p-value = 0.02). Average number of participants retained at EOT per recruitment month showed a slight decrease from 8.6 pre- to 8.2 post-COVID; average number who quit smoking at EOT per recruitment month also showed a decrease from 6 to 4.6. The study results indicated that our telephone-based intervention is feasible and acceptable in this population and presents a new treatment model which can be easily disseminated to a broad population of Qatari smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16509
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Qatar
  • feasibility
  • smoking cessation
  • smoking quitline
  • tobacco control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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