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Drug Alcohol Rev. 2006 Jan;25(1):5-14.

Reflections on 30+ years of smoking cessation research: from the individual to the world.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55454-1015, USA.


This is a personal retrospective in which I describe my career as a smoking cessation researcher and place cessation into an overall perspective of tobacco reduction. I spent approximately the first 15 years focusing primarily upon small group approaches to cessation emphasising relatively intensive behavioural interventions. It became apparent, however, that these types of approaches in isolation, even if broadly disseminated, would have relatively minimal impact on overall tobacco use. In part because I became discouraged with the potential of group programmes to reduce overall smoking prevalence, I began to focus more on population-based studies, especially in the context of 'teachable moments' including pregnancy, hospitalisation, forced abstinence in the military and existing smoking-related disease. I became concerned especially with the fact that there has been relatively little work with hard-core medically compromised smokers. It also became apparent that promoting cessation would be most likely to be effective with a comprehensive evidence-based tobacco reduction strategy including school and community-based prevention programmes, enforcement of ordinances restricting minors' access to tobacco, restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion, counter advertising and strong smoke-free policies. In recent years I have become very concerned about the overall global tobacco epidemic and the projections of dramatically increasing tobacco morbidity and mortality in developing countries. I am now devoting my primary career emphasis to global tobacco reduction initiatives, including cessation research in India and Indonesia, cessation as part of broader tobacco reduction strategies and networking to increase resources and emphasis devoted to global tobacco reduction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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