Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Not provided at time of registration

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Taina Taskila


Contact details

The University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Testing the feasibility of nicotine-assisted reduction to stop in pharmacies: a 2x2 factorial trial



Study hypothesis

This pilot study aims to examine the feasibility of nicotine-assisted reduction to stop (NARS) in pharmacies and also to see if behavioural support and the length of the trial affects the success rate for cessation. The trial will test how well pharmacists can be trained to implement NARS and how this is received by smokers and by pharmacists.

Primary aims:
To test the processes, examine implementation issues, and reactions to the programme of those involved

Secondary aims:
1. Investigate whether behavioural support is more effective than no support
2. Investigate whether shorter reduction programmes are more effective

Ethics approval

Ethics approval pending from South Birmingham REC on 16/03/2010

Study design

Multicentre randomised 2x2 factorial design controlled parallel group trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised parallel trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a patient information sheet


Public Health


This trial has a 2x2 factorial design. The pharmacists will recruit 16 patients per pharmacy; 160 smokers altogether. Participants will be randomised in sealed envelopes to receive:
1. Behavioural support
1.1. 52 weeks
1.2. 4 weeks
The pharmacist will give support for 52 weeks by inviting participants to set a treatment goal and provide advice on how to reduce cigarettes. Participants in the 4-week supported programme will be given the same advice with the reduction but with a different schedule. Participants will be provided with a weeks worth of Nicotine Replacement Therapy every week for the duration of their participation in the trial.
2. No support
2.1. 52 weeks
2.2. 4 weeks
Participants in the no support arms will not be given advice or support. Instead they will be given a leaflet that describes the reduction programmes, and encourages use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to support the reduction.

The trial will run for 52 weeks regardless of the trial arm, it is only the way they reduce the amount they smoke that will differ. The NRT will be given by the recruiting pharmacist. The participants will also be asked to provide a CO2 reading at their first appointment, at the last appointment and also after every time they have gone smoke free for a month.

Intervention type



Not Specified

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

1. Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) measured at baseline and the end of follow up (52 weeks)
2. Smoking behaviour measured at baseline
3. Service satisfaction questionnaire at end of follow up (52 weeks)

Secondary outcome measures

Cessation activity: at 4 wks, 8 wks, 12, 16, 20, 24 etc. every month until the end of the trial (52 weeks) (11 measures)

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Male or female, 18 years or older
2. Smokes at least 10 cigarettes or 12.5g of loose tobacco daily as roll your own cigarettes, or blows 15ppm or above on CO recording
3. Do not intend to stop in the next month, but are prepared to reduce their consumption with any of the programmes offered
4. Evidence of a personally signed and dated informed consent document indicating that the subject has been informed of all pertinent aspects of the study and consents to participate and be randomised to either arm and have either a telephone or email for follow-up

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Currently using other NRT, bupropion, nortriptyline, mecamylamine, reserpine, or varenicline, or undergoing any treatment for tobacco dependence (e.g. acupuncture),
2. Unstable angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, or cerebrovascular accident during the last 3 weeks,
3. Severe cardiac arrhythmia
4. Currently uncontrolled hyperthyroidism
5. Active phaeocromocytoma
6. Pregnancy, lactation or intended pregnancy
7. Participation in other medicinal trials within the last three months and during study participation,
8. Previously had severe skin reactions to nicotine patches or severe eczema or other skin diseases that make patch use hazardous or undesirable
9. Severe acute or chronic medical or psychiatric condition or previously diagnosed clinically important renal or hepatic disease, that may increase the risk associated with study participation or may interfere with the interpretation of study results and, in the judgment of the investigator, would make the subject inappropriate for entry into this study

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

The University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of Birmingham (UK)

Sponsor details

c/o Dr Brendan Laverty
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type

Research council

Funder name

Medical Research Council (MRC) (UK) - National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI) (ref: G0802135)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2012 protocol in:
2017 results in:

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

20/02/2017: Publication reference added.