Aims The aims of this study are to describe the tobacco dependence treatment systems in five countries at different stages of development of their systems, and from different income levels and regions of the world, and to draw some lessons from their experiences that might be useful to other countries.
Methods and data sourses Data were drawn from an earlier survey of treatment services led by M.R. and A.M., from Party reports to the Secretariat of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and from correspondents in the five countries. These data were entered onto a standard template by the authors, discussed with the correspondents to ensure they were accurate and to help us interpret them, and then the templates were used as a basis to write prose descriptions of the countries' treatment systems, with additional summary data presented in tables.
Results Two of the middle-income countries have based their treatment on specialist support and both consequently have very low population coverage for treatment. Two countries have integrated broad-reach approaches, such as brief advice with intensive specialist support; these countries are focusing currently upon monitoring performance and guaranteeing quality. Cost is a significant barrier to improving treatment coverage and highlights the importance of using existing infrastucture as much as possible.
Conclusions Perhaps not surprisingly the greatest challenges appear to be faced by large, lower-income countries that have prioritized more intensive but low-reach approaches to treatment, rather than developing basic infrastructure, including brief advice in primary care and quitlines.