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

    • August 20, 2007

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 website 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.