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Tobacco Induced Diseases

Open Access

Couples of significant others (COSO) in a joint effort to quit smoking

  • Aikaterini Tsoutsa1Email author,
  • Ioanna Nikoloutsou1,
  • Dimos Fotopoulos1,
  • Constantinos Glynos1,
  • Spyridon Zakynthinos1 and
  • Paraskevi Katsaounou1
Tobacco Induced Diseases201412(Suppl 1):A26

Published: 6 June 2014


Motivational support is crucial for the success of smoking cessation. Significant others are a proven source of that support [1, 2]. As far as we know social support has been used to achieve smoking cessation higher rates, but only as support and not as a concurrent attempt of a couple to quit smoking. We investigated whether the inclusion of couples of significant others in a joint effort to quit smoking in smoking cessation groups formed by a population based sample of participants would increase their succession rate compared to the participants that receive the same treatment alone.

Materials and methods

This was a randomized population-based intervention study at the smoking cessation clinic of Evaggelismos hospital. We monitored for people that are related in the initial screening stage. Couples included life partners, family members or very close friends. Smokers were in all motivational stages. All participants underwent the same intervention with motivational and behavioural components in the smoking cessation groups and received medical consultation and pharmacotherapy (Varenicline). We compared so far the smoking cessation rates of 25 "couples" and 50 randomized smokers that followed our smoking cessation program.


We found that participants that joint the COSO quit smoking in a higher rate (58%) than of smokers (38%). Within the dyad the person more motivated to quit smoking was usually the first to quit. Among couples that quit smoking, men were more successful (63%) than women (49%).


We conclude that higher smoking cessation rates were obtained in COSO joining our smoking cessation program.



The research was sponsored by Evaggelismos Hospital

Authors’ Affiliations

Pulmonary Department - ICU, Evangelismos Hospital, Athens, Greece


  1. Stice E, Ragan J, Randall P: Prospective relations between social support and depression: differential direction of effects for parent and peer support?. J Abnorm Psychol. 2004, 113: 155-9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Christakis NA, Fowler JH: The collective dynamics of smoking in a large social network. N Eng J Med. 2008, 358: 2249-58. 10.1056/NEJMsa0706154.View ArticleGoogle Scholar


© Tsoutsa et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.