Organization, Financing, Promotion, and Cost of U.S. Quitlines, 2004

Paula A. Keller, Linda A. Bailey, Kalsea J. Koss, Timothy B. Baker, Michael C. Fiore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Quitlines have been established as an effective, evidence-based, population-wide strategy to deliver smoking-cessation treatment, and are now available in most states across America. However, little is known about the organization, financing, promotion, and cost of state quitlines. Methods: In 2004, the North American Quitline Consortium surveyed the 50 states and Washington DC to obtain information about state quitlines. Data were analyzed in fall 2005 through spring 2006. Analyses of these data are reported in this paper. Results: Analyses were limited to the 38 states that reported having a quitline in 2004. State governments funded most (89.5%) quitlines. Median state quitline operating budgets in 2004 were $500,000; this translates into a modest annual median operating cost of $0.14 per capita or $0.85 per adult smoker. A lesser amount was spent for quitline promotion. Quitline services varied, with 97.4% of respondents providing mailed self-help resources, 89.5% providing proactive telephone counseling, and 89.2% providing referrals to other services. Many quitlines provide services in languages other than English. Only 21.1% of quitlines reported providing cessation medication at no cost. Promotional strategies varied widely. Conclusion: A large majority of U.S. smokers live in states with tobacco quitlines, which provide cessation treatment at a remarkably modest per capita cost. There is a great deal of congruence in services and promotional strategies among states. Further research is required to determine how external factors such as the federal National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines funding for state quitlines and the availability of a national portal number (1-800-QUITNOW), both implemented in 2004, affect state quitlines. Additional research to evaluate the cost effectiveness of quitline services is also warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


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