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Is a statewide tobacco quitline an appropriate service for specific populations?
  1. Julie E Maher1,
  2. Kristen Rohde1,
  3. Clyde W Dent1,
  4. Michael J Stark1,
  5. Barbara Pizacani1,
  6. Michael J Boysun2,
  7. Julia A Dilley1,
  8. Patricia L Yepassis-Zembrou3
  1. 1
    Program Design and Evaluation Services, Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Department of Human Services, Portland, OR, USA
  2. 2
    Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, Washington, USA
  3. 3
    Free and Clear, Inc, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Dr Julie Maher, 800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 550, Portland, OR, 97232, USA; julie.e.maher{at}


Objective: To assess whether smoking quit rates and satisfaction with the Washington State tobacco quitline (QL) services varied by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, area of residence (that is, urban versus non-urban), or sex of Washington QL callers.

Methods: From October 2004 into October 2005, we conducted telephone surveys of Washington QL callers about three months after their initial call to the QL. Analyses compared 7-day quit rates and satisfaction measures by race/ethnicity, education level, area of residence and sex (using α = 0.05).

Results: We surveyed half (n = 1312) of the 2638 adult smokers we attempted to contact. The 7-day quit rate among survey participants at the 3-month follow-up was 31% (CI: 27.1% to 34.2%), 92% (CI: 89.9% to 94.1%) were somewhat/very satisfied overall with the QL programme, 97% (CI: 95.5% to 98.2%) indicated that they would probably/for sure suggest the QL to others and 95% (CI: 92.9% to 96.4%) were somewhat/very satisfied with the QL specialist. Quit rate did not vary significantly by race/ethnicity, education level, area of residence or sex. Satisfaction levels were high across subpopulations. Almost all participants (99%) agreed that they were always treated respectfully during interactions with QL staff.

Conclusions: The Washington QL appeared effective and well received by callers from the specific populations studied. States choosing to promote their QL more aggressively should feel confident that a tobacco QL can be an effective and well received cessation service for smokers who call from a broad range of communities.

  • smoking cessation
  • hotline
  • ethnic groups
  • educational status
  • rural population

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  • Ethics committee approval: The Washington State Institutional Review Board (IRB) determined that this study was programme evaluation, not research, and therefore IRB review and approval were not required.

  • Competing interests: none.

  • Funding: This work was funded by the Washington State Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

  • Abbreviations:
    Asian or Pacific Islander
    Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System
    nicotine replacement therapy
    rural urban commuting area