After nine months of follow-up, 44% of patients in a comprehensive tobacco treatment program were compliant with smoking abstinence, according to the results of a study published in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers in the prospective study analyzed 3,245 smokers treated at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s tobacco treatment program from 2006–2015. They found that at three, six, and nine months, smoking abstinence rates were 45%, 46%, and 44%, respectively. Comparatively, past studies of quitlines and other minimal interventions have abstinence rates of 20% or less.

The comprehensive treatment programs involve 8–12 weeks of intensive behavioral counseling along with proactive medication management using nicotine replacement therapy, non-nicotine medications, or a combination. The study showed that the average cost per quit was $1,900–$2,500, although the patients received the treatment for free because the program is funded by the Texas Tobacco Settlement Funds.

The authors noted that the study was not a randomized clinical trial and did not allow for comparison with other types of smoking cessation programs.