Objective—To examine the efficacy of four individually-delivered Motivational Interviewing counseling sessions for smoking cessation versus a matched intensity comparison condition.
Method—From 2006–2009, students attending college in the Midwest smoking at least 1 of 30 days were recruited regardless of their interest in quitting. 30 fraternities and sororities were randomized, resulting in 452 participants.
Results—No significant differences were found for 30-day cessation between treatment and comparison at end of treatment (31.4% vs 28%, OR=1.20, 95% CI .72,1.99) or at follow-up (20.4% vs 24.6%, OR=.78, 95% CI .50,1.22). Predictors of cessation at follow-up, regardless of condition, included more sessions attended (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1,1.8) and more cigarettes smoked in 30 days at baseline (OR 4.7, 95% CI 2.5,8.9). The odds of making at least one quit attempt were significantly greater for those in the smoking group at end of treatment (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.11,2.74) and followup (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.11,2.47). Modeling showed reduction in days smoked for both groups. At end of treatment, more frequent smokers in the treatment condition had greater reductions in days smoked.
Conclusion—Motivational Interviewing for smoking cessation is effective for increasing cessation attempts and reducing days smoked in the short run.