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Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2008 Winter;2(4):279-89. doi: 10.1353/cpr.0.0038.

Institutionalizing a comprehensive tobacco-cessation protocol in an indigenous health system: lessons learned.

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  • 1Imi Hale, Nature Hawaiian Cancer Network.



Native Hawaiians have high smoking prevalence and high lung cancer mortality rates.


We sought to describe a comprehensive tobacco cessation protocol and share lessons learned in institutionalizing it across the five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems (NHHCS).


NHHCS representatives worked together to culturally tailor the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) protocol for smoking cessation. Process objectives included number of staff trained in tobacco cessation, inclusion of the Tobacco User Guide Sheet (TUGS) in the intake process and medical record, and expansion of programs for smokers who want to quit. Outcome objectives included percent of individuals asked about smoking status and percent of identified smokers that received brief intervention, set a quit date, were linked to services, and remained smoke free for 90 days.


After 18 months, the NHHCS were at different stages of protocol adoption. More successful NHHCS were more likely to have several champions for the program and administrative support for staff training, new programs, and integrating the TUGS into client charts. They also showed greater success in getting smokers to set a quit date and remain smoke free for 90 days.


Although the five NHHCS helped to design the protocol, each operates independently. More effort and time are needed to help each system overcome internal barriers to institutionalizing a new protocol and to facilitate support for tobacco cessation champions among medical records and data management supervisors. These lessons may be useful to other organizations that want to institutionalize a comprehensive tobacco cessation protocol.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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