Experts Identify Ways to Increase Use of Evidence-Based Tobacco-Cessation Programs

Promoting multifunder collaboration to put evidence-based tobacco cessation into practice

Field of Work: Identifying ways to increase the use of evidence-based tobacco-cessation programs.

Problem Synopsis: More than 70 percent of all current smokers want to quit, but only 3 percent to 4 percent of smokers are able to quit permanently without counseling or drugs. This figure rises substantially when smokers receive counseling and/or medication. Although numerous, effective smoking-cessation treatments exist, many Americans do not have ready access to such treatments.

Synopsis of the Work: From 2002 to 2006, RWJF supported two projects designed to promote the use of evidence-based tobacco-cessation treatments and services. Staff at the American Cancer Society created the Center for Tobacco Cessation, which operated an online resource center (now defunct) to expand the use of evidence-based tobacco-cessation treatments. Staff at the Academy for Educational Development ran the Consumer Demand Roundtable, a forum for tobacco-cessation experts to generate recommendations for increasing consumer demand for cessation products and services.

Key Results: Project staff at the Center for Tobacco Cessation:

  • Created the Policy Roundtable on Statewide Cessation Services to explore the issues of organizing, delivering and financing cessation services at the state level.
  • Produced and distributed a biweekly electronic newsletter, the E-newsletter, to some 3,000 subscribers.

Project staff at the Academy for Educational Development:

  • Organized and convened three roundtable meetings in Washington and a national integrative conference.
  • Created a Web site that provides links to information about each of the three roundtables and upcoming events.

Key Recommendations: Recommendations from participants in the Center for Tobacco Cessation's Policy Roundtable on Statewide Cessation Services included:

  • Identify and convene key cessation stakeholders, from both public and private sectors and public health and health care areas, to develop and advance a comprehensive cessation effort at the state level.
  • Increase health insurance coverage, including by Medicare and Medicaid, of effective tobacco-dependence treatments.
  • Establish high-quality "quitline" services in all states.
  • Strengthen cessation surveillance capacity and evaluation measures at the individual program and statewide levels.