Introduction and Aim A Cochrane review concluded that there is a lack of evidence to support lung function and lung age measures as a method for increasing smoking cessation quit rates. This study aims to assess whether providing lung health checks in workplaces and community settings, combined with immediate access to high quality smoking cessation advice, will promote behaviour change in smokers.
Method The intervention consisted of spirometry followed by a detailed and personalised explanation of the findings. The results were delivered in plain non-clinical language, using lung age, visual tools and local analogies. The results were augmented by a written report and advice with regard to any action indicated. To capitalise on the tension created by the intervention, current smokers were strongly encouraged to seize the moment and have an immediate discussion with a stop smoking adviser who was positioned within easy reach. The smoking status of every individual tested was recorded, along with their age, gender, test results and action advised.
Results 1054 smokers have undertaken the lung health check. 953 were given brief advice to stop smoking. 467 (49%) subsequently registered with the stop smoking service.
Conclusions Regardless of the spirometry result, whether normal or abnormal, a clear understanding of your lung health appeared to be a powerful motivational trigger and teachable moment for behaviour change. This innovative model potentially provides all the ingredients in one location for promoting smoking cessation as described by Robert West in the 3 Ts strategy: Tension, Trigger, Treatment.1 The offer of a lung health check was exceptionally popular in all settings, even among traditionally hard-to-reach groups, and could be targeted according to local need. Joint working with the smoking cessation service improved the outcome for smokers as it took advantage of the immediate situation, triggering the impulse to make a quit attempt. These results justify further work collecting follow-up data to establish whether the trigger of a lung health check converts to a successful long-term quit.