Update on Including a Quitline Number on Cigarette Packages and Advertisements in North America.
In the past month, both Canada and the U.S. have moved forward on regulations to include a quitline number on cigarette packages and advertisements.
In Canada, regulatory action on new tobacco warnings, slated to include a quitline number, appeared to be at a standstill in the fall. However, pressure from leading national advocates has been effective in gaining government action. On Dec. 30, 2010, Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced new warning requirements. She said that they would appear on packages in 2011. According to Rob Cunningham of the Canadian Cancer Society, “In the best case scenario, warnings would start to appear on packages only in the fourth quarter of 2011, and likely at the end of the fourth quarter (e.g. December 2011).” This allows a year for planning for increased call volume at the helplines. Cunningham anticipates that it would take further months until all packages at the retail level depict the new warnings and the helpline number. As always, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the projected timetable as the tobacco industry may attempt to delay the process.
NAQC will keep you updated on key activities that need to take place in Canada. NAQC would like to thank our colleagues at Canadian Cancer Society for this update. To view NAQC’s letter to the Prime Minister and Health Minister, click here.
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving forward with new tobacco warnings. A proposed rule was published in November. NAQC and many other tobacco control organizations submitted comments on the proposed rule on or before January 11. NAQC made three recommendations to the FDA on including 800-QUIT-NOW as the cessation resource that should appear in warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements:
NAQC’s full comments
FDA should select 1-800-QUIT-NOW as the smoking cessation resource under Section 1141.16 of the Tobacco Control Act;
Every warning for cigarette packages and advertisements should include 1-800-QUIT-NOW and its numeric equivalent (1-800-784-8669). In addition, the telephone numbers should be clearly identified as a quitline; and
FDA should replace the criteria for the tobacco cessation resource and in their place require the provision of information and services that comply with the most current version of the U.S. Public Health Services Guideline on Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence.
National advocates's comments
Tracy Orleans's (RWJF) comments
Shu-Hong Zhu's (California Smokers' Helpline) comments
Many thanks to our members and partners who provided feedback on NAQC’s comments. We will keep you updated on next steps.
Call for Candidates for NAQC Board of Directors!
This year, we will be electing up to 5 new directors. It is our intention to put forward up to 7 names to the membership for election. We are counting on you to help us find outstanding candidates again this year. All NAQC members can submit candidate names.
Please send all recommendations for candidates to Sharon Campbell, Chair of the Nomination Committee, c/o Board@naquitline.org by February 1.
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We Have Moved!
As of January 1, 2011 you can reach us at
1300 Clay Street, Ste. 600
Oakland, CA 94612
COMING SOON: New Minimal Data Set Resources.
In response to member inquiries and suggestions, and as part of an overall focus on critical tools for monitoring and evaluating quitlines, NAQC has been working on two resources related to its Minimal Data Set for Evaluating Quitlines (MDS): MDS modified for use in online intervention services and optional screening quiestions for behavioral health issues. Both resources will be available on the NAQC website in the coming weeks.
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COMING SOON: 2011 Webinar Series.
The 2011 Webinar Series will continue the long-standing mission of NAQC’s continuing education efforts. Please look for the new dates and topics to be announced in the coming weeks.
» view past series
Help Promote "What Works? A Guide to Quit Smoking Methods"!
NTCC has recently launched the microsite for What Works? A Guide to Quit Smoking Methods. While smokers make their New Year's resolution to stop smoking, NTCC invites all its partners to help promote this resource by sharing the link on your facebook and twitter accounts.
Menthol Cigarettes: Moving Toward a Broader Definition of Harm - Nicotine and Tobacco Research Supplement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health and Legacy announced the publication of a special supplemental issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research entitled Menthol Cigarettes: Moving Toward a Broader Definition of Harm. This supplement was published on December 21, 2010, and contains some of the proceedings from the Second Conference on Menthol Cigarettes that took place in Washington, D.C., on October 19–20, 2009. Overall findings from this supplement present a broader public health definition for the harmful effects of menthol cigarettes.
Wall Street Journal Article on Quitting That Includes 800 QUIT-NOW Number.
This Wall Street Journal article, written by Sue Shellenbarger, addresses the need to set realistic expectations when making New Year’s resolutions. An ex-smoker mentions the 1-800 QUIT NOW number when describing how the quitline coaching helped her kick the habit.
Awareness and Use of Tobacco Quitlines: Evidence From the Health Information National Trends Survey.
Kaufman A, Augustson E, Davis K, Finney Rutten LJ. J Health Commun. 2010;15 Suppl 3:264-78.
This study examined factors associated with the awareness and use of quitlines. Secondary analysis was conducted on data from the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey. Of the 7,674 adults surveyed, about 50% reported an awareness of quitlines (65% of current smokers), while 3.5% (9% of current smokers) had called a quitline. Current and former smokers were more likely to report an awareness of quitlines than those who reported never having smoked. Age, ethnicity, and education were related to quitline awareness. Looking for health information (OR = 1.40, CI = 1.14-1.73) and having more trust in the government as a source of health information (OR = 1.25, CI = 1.05-1.48) were associated with awareness. Current smoking status was strongly associate with quitline use (OR = 9.25, CI = 3.18-26.85). Respondents who looked for health or medical information from any source, had a personal or family history of cancer, and reported psychological distress were more likely to have called a quitline. The authors conclude that while awareness of quitlines appears to be high, quitline utilization is low.
Evaluation of a Direct Mailing Campaign to Increase Physician Awareness and Utilization of a Quitline Fax Referral Service.
Mathew M, Goldstein AO, Kramer KD, Ripley-Moffitt C, Mage C. Health Commun. 2010 Dec;15(8):840-5.
This study evaluated the effectiveness of a small-scale educational and promotional campaign designed to increase health care providers' awareness and utilization of a state tobacco cessation quitline fax referral service. The campaign included a direct mailing of fax promotional materials to 6,197 health care providers in North Carolina. An 8-month follow-up survey was mailed to a 10% random sample of family physicians, pediatricians, dentists, and orthodontists who were sent the promotional materials. Valid surveys were returned by 271 providers (response rate = 46%). Forty-four percent of respondents remembered receiving the mailing, and 40% reported familiarity with the fax referral service. While only 3.5% of respondents reported referring a patient to the quitline using the fax referral service in the previous 6 months, nearly one-third reported an intention to use the fax referral service in the future. This pilot campaign increased awareness of the fax referral service more than service utilization. The authors conclude that results of this study can help guide the development of future fax referral promotional campaigns to increase clinician access to and utilization of state quitlines.
Current Major Depression Among Smokers Using a State Quitline .
Hebert KK, Cummins SE, Hernández S, Tedeschi GJ, Zhu SH. Am J Prev Med. 2011 Jan;40(1):47-53.
This study assessed current major depression and subsequent treatment outcomes among smokers calling a state quitline. A total of 844 smokers who called California Smoker’s Helpline in 2007 were screened for depression by the module of the Patients Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Additionally, the Social Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ) was administered. Two months post-screening, follow-up evaluations were conducted to assess quit rates. Overall, nearly one-quarter of smokers (24.2%) met the criteria for major depression, and 16.5% reported symptoms indicative of mild depression. Callers with current major depression were more likely to be heavy smokers and Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition, 74.0% of smokers with current major depression had substantial social and occupational functioning deficits. At the two month follow-up, those with major depression at screening were significantly less likely to have quit smoking (18.5 % vs 28.4%). Every year more than 400,000 smokers call state quitlines in the U.S. for help with quitting each year since and almost one in four smokers who called the California Smokers' Helpline met criteria for current major depression. The authors conclude that given that large number of depressed smokers who seek help, there may be a need to develop appropriate interventions to help them quit successfully.
Smoking Cessation Quitlines in Europe: Matching Services to Callers' Characteristics.
Willemsen MC, van der Meer RM, Schippers GM. BMC Public Health 2010, 10:770doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-770.
This study examined how quitline services were matched to callers' level of addiction, educational level, stage-of-change with quitting, and whether they were referred by a doctor or other health professional. Quitline counselors collected data on characteristics of and services used by 3,585 callers to seven European quitlines between February 2005 and April 2006. Forty-three percent of all callers received information on pharmacotherapy and were primarily heavy smokers. There was a relationship between the length of conversations and the educational level of the smoker: the lower the education of the smoker, the shorter the call. The smoker's stage of quitting and the type of advice provided by the counselor were also related. Smokers in the action stage of quitting were more likely to receive advice or counseling than those in the preparation stage, who were less likely to be referred. Few of the total number of calls (10.7%) were from referrals by health professionals. Referred callers were more likely to receive counseling, but this was found only in four of seven quitlines. The authors conclude that most of the services offered favored heavy smokers and those at a more advanced stage of cessation, but not based on their educational level. Furthermore, they recommend that European quitlines extend and tailor their services to include less-educated smokers.
A Randomized Trial of Internet and Telephone Treatment for Smoking Cessation.
Amanda L. Graham, PhD; Nathan K. Cobb, MD; George D. Papandonatos, PhD; Jose L. Moreno, MA;
Hakmook Kang, MS; David G. Tinkelman, MD; Beth C. Bock, PhD; Raymond S. Niaura, PhD; David B. Abrams, PhD. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(1):46-53.
This study tested whether basic Internet (BI), Internet enhanced with tailored content and social support (EI), or enhanced Internet plus proactive telephone counseling (EI+P) would result in higher abstinence rates. The study, conducted from March 2005 through November 2008, compared the three groups of 2,005 current adults who smoked 5 or more cigarettes per day. The primary outcome measure was 30-day point prevalence abstinence measured at 3, 6, 12, and 18 month periods. At 18 months, the 30-day multiple point prevalence abstinence rate across all follow-up intervals was 3.5% (BI), 4.5% (EI), and 7.7% (EI+P), with EI+P significantly outperforming BI and EI. At 18 months, 30-day single point prevalence abstinence rates were 19.0% (BI), 17.4% (EI), and 19.6% (EI+P) and did not differ among the groups. The authors concluded that combined Internet and telephone treatment outperforms static and dynamic Internet interventions.
CTP's Inaugural Director of the Office of Policy!
The Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the selection of Eric Lindblom as CTP’s inaugural director of the Office of Policy. Eric will be responsible for developing and coordinating CTP public health policies and strategies necessary to implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act). This will include the continuous evaluation of CTP’s tobacco product regulation policies in order to assure that the law’s public health goals are driving programmatic initiatives across science, regulations, compliance, public education, and management programs within CTP. Eric’s career and reputation as a visionary tobacco control policy expert and advocate uniquely qualify him to lead these efforts. Eric will join CTP on January 31, 2011.
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Update on National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH)!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a contract for the next NCTOH (USA) to DESA, Inc. CDC and DESA, Inc are working to identify a date and venue for the conference (likely early 2012). NAQC will keep you updated on progress for the event.
Call for Presentations: 19th Annual NALBOH Conference!
The National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH) invites you to submit a proposal for a presentation at our 19th Annual Conference. The conference will take place on the shore of one of America's most beautiful lakes - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - only 30 miles east of Spokane International Airport.
Proposal submission deadline - March 1, 2011.
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Funding for Connections is provided through a contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We thank them for their support of this publication. Information and links are provided solely as a service to NAQC members and partners and do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by NAQC, nor should any be inferred.