Table 1 Chronology and timeline of minimal dataset development and implementation
May 2002First North American Conference of Smoking Cessation QuitlinesIdentified need for:
Organisation to provide leadership and unified voice for quitlines
Common evaluation framework to promote shared learning
June 2003NAQC planning meeting held in Chicago, USAPlanners agreed to begin processes to create NAQC and a standard dataset
Agreed to address need for standard dataset as first NAQC project
September 2003Health Canada hosts quitline meeting in Ottawa, CanadaPurpose and content of a minimal dataset discussed. Research and Evaluation (R&E) Working Group established by NAQC—joint Canadian and US leadership
November 2003 to February 2004NAQC R&E working group met by teleconferenceExtensive consultation with quitline stakeholders, tobacco control researchers
Existing indicators and measures identified
Draft MDS completed, stakeholder consultation
June 2004NAQC meeting in San Diego, USAR&E working group convened to review input from consultations
MDS revised and only “essential” indicators included. Process for standardising optional questions developed
NAQC formally launched
MDS sent to stakeholders for final input
February 2005NAQC R&E working group meeting in Phoenix, ArizonaMDS items finalised, definitions adopted
Included representation from ESCHER team working with ENQMethodological issues reviewed and guidelines prepared
March 2005 to May 2005Vermont quitline pilot tested MDSPilot experience shared at NAQC annual meeting
NAQC annual meetingMDS launched with suggested implementation deadline of September 2005
June 2005 to September 2005NAQC prepares for September 2005 launch of MDSMDS questions, technical support, frequently asked questions, MDS teleconferences offered by NAQC
September 2005 onwardsNorth American quitlines begin conversion to MDSVoluntary implementation of MDS
  • ENQ, European Network of Quitlines; ESCHER, European Smoking Cessation Helplines Evaluation Research; MDS, minimal dataset; NAQC, North American Quitline Consortium.