Boosting Population Quits Through Evidence-Based Cessation Treatment and Policy

To accomplish large increases in adult tobacco cessation, more needs to be done to coordinate widespread, efficient dissemination and implementation of effective treatment and policies. This paper provides the analytic framework that guides two subsequent papers in this special supplement: Modeling the Impact of Smoking-Cessation Treatment Policies on Quit Rates and Reaching Healthy People 2010 by 2013: A SimSmoke Simulation. These studies use computer simulation modeling to show how these specific policies (and others) can impact reductions in smoking prevalence.

The authors describe five cessation treatment policies from the U.S. Public Health Service 2008 clinical practice guideline. Three policies have a strong evidence base:

  1. Cessation treatment coverage and provider reimbursement.
  2. Funding for the use and promotion of evidence-based state-sponsored telephone quitlines.
  3. Health care system changes to prompt, guide and incentivize tobacco treatment.

Two promising approaches that could enhance the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments are:

  1. Policies to support and promote evidence-based computerized treatment via the Internet.
  2. Policies to improve individually tailored, stepped-care approaches and the long-term effectiveness of evidence-based treatments.

When implemented simultaneously, several of the policies can exhibit synergistic effects, creating benefits greater than the sum of their parts.

This article is part of a special issue on tobacco cessation in the March 2010 edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.