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Use and outcomes of a state-funded in-person counselling program
  1. John R Hughes1,2,3,
  2. Catherine Suiter4,
  3. Theodore Marcy5
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  2. 2Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  3. 3Department of Family Practice, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  4. 4Quit in Person Program, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  5. 5Office of Health Promotion Research and Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  1. Correspondence to John R Hughes, University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry, UHC Campus, Stop#482, Burlington, Vermont 05401, USA;{at}

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Many tobacco control programs include cessation services; however, few include free in-person counselling. We could locate only three descriptions of use and outcomes of free in-person counselling in a real-world setting1–3; thus, we describe our experience with in-person counselling in Vermont.

Vermont intensified its tobacco control program in 2001 using Master Settlement Agreement funds ( In the last few years, cessation components include (a) access to a quitline run by the American Cancer Society (, (b) a cessation website (, (c) free or reduced-cost nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and (d) an in-person counselling program based at local hospitals ( Media spots refer smokers to the quitline or to their local hospital. The in-person program includes group programs based on the American Cancer Fresh Start ( or the American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking Programs ( and individual counselling by tobacco treatment specialists (TTSs). The program has trained 30 TTSs and almost all completed the University of Massachusetts TTS training.4 In 2008 there were 9.0 FTE TTSs based at the 13 Vermont hospitals.

The outcomes reported below are from …

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  • Funding This work was supported by Senior Scientist Award DA-000490 (to JH) and grant R21 CA134817 (to TM) from the US National Institutes of Health.

  • Competing interests JRH is currently employed by The University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care. Since 1/1/2007, he has received research grants from the National Institute on Health, and Pfizer; the latter develops and sells smoking cessation medications. During this time, he has accepted honoraria or consulting fees from several non-profit and for-profit organisations and companies that develop, sell or promote smoking cessation products or services or educate/advocate about smoking cessation: Abbot Pharmaceuticals, Acrux, Aradigm, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, American Psychiatric Association, Begbies Traynor, Cline, Davis and Mann, Constella Group, Consultants in Behaviour Change, Dean Foundation, DLA Piper, EPI-Q, European Respiratory Society, Evotec, Exchange Limited, Fagerstrom Consulting, Free and Clear, GlaxoSmithKline, Golin Harris, Healthwise, Insyght, Informed, Invivodata, Johns Hopkins University, J L Reckner, Maine Medical Center, McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Oglivy Health PR, Ottawa Heart Institute, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Pinney Associates, Reuters, Scientia, Temple University of Health Sciences, University of Arkansas, University of California-San Francisco, University of Cantabria, University of Kentucky, US National Institutes of Health and Xenova. TM has no disclosures. CS is employed by Fletcher Allen Health Care, who administers the VT In Person Program.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.