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Am J Prev Med. 2010 Mar;38(3 Suppl):S397-402. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.11.015.

Closing tobacco-related disparities: Using community organizations to increase consumer demand.

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  • 1Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, USA.



Individuals living in poverty are more likely to smoke, and they suffer disproportionately from tobacco use. Strategies used to deliver tobacco-cessation interventions often fail to reach smokers living in poverty. Providing tobacco interventions to smokers when they present to community organizations is a potential strategy, but the acceptability and effectiveness of such interventions is unknown.


In this 2007 pilot study, 295 smokers seeking emergency assistance from the Salvation Army in Wisconsin were randomly assigned to either a very brief (30-second) smoking intervention condition or to a control no-intervention condition. All participants completed a follow-up survey at the end of their visit assessing their satisfaction with the community agency, interest in quitting, and motivation to quit.


This brief intervention increased the likelihood that smokers would seek help when they decided to quit (61% vs 44%, p<0.05) but did not affect intention to quit in the next 6 months or perceived difficulty of quitting. The intervention was well received by both participants and Salvation Army staff.


Smokers in this pilot study found it acceptable to have their smoking addressed when seeking services from a community agency. Such interventions may need to be more intense than the one used in this study in order to achieve the goal of increased motivation to quit. Community agencies should consider including brief tobacco-dependence interventions as a secondary mission to improve their clients' health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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