Double-blind, randomized trial of cessation of smoking after audiotape suggestion during anaesthesia

P. S. Myles, M. Hendrata, Y. Layher, N. J. Williams, J. L. Hall, J. T. Moloney, J. Powell

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We studied the use of intraoperative tape suggestion to improve the rate of cessation of smoking in 363 smokers who wanted to stop smoking. They were allocated randomly to hear a taped message encouraging them to stop smoking or to a blank tape, played during general anaesthesia. Overall 56 patients (15.4%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 11.7-19.1%) had claimed to have stopped smoking at 2 months and 29 patients (8.0%, 95% CI 5.9-10.1%) were confirmed to have stopped smoking at 6 months. There was no significant difference between the groups at either 2 or 6 months (risk ratios 1.06 and 1.09, respectively, P = 0.78). A preoperative: postoperative ratio of a visual analogue scale measuring the patient's motivation to stop smoking was not significantly different (control group 1.13 vs message group 1.10, P = 0.55). This study does not support the hypothesis that intraoperative tape suggestion can change smoking behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-698
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Anaesthesia: depth
  • Complications, smokers
  • Memory

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