Providing an integrated program of low intensity tobacco cessation services in a health maintenance organization

Russell E. Glasgow, Jack F. Hollis, Suzanne Gilbert Mcrae, Harry A. Lando, Pierre Lachance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This paper reports on the development, promotion and use of a coordinated program of low intensity intervention services designed to appeal to smokers (and smokeless tobacco users) at various stages of change. An initial package of four components: a telephone advice line, self-help materials, single session group meetings and bimonthly newletter was offered to subjects in a variety of different settings (outpatient clinics, dental offices, worksites, hospitals) within a health maintenance (HMO) program project. Based upon consumer response and formative evaluations, these components were modified during the course of the year-long intervention. Results revealed differences in use of the various components of the program, with greatest use of self-help materials (manuals, 'tobacco substitutes' and a computerized smoking cessation aid) and least response to group meetings and the advice line. Most encouraging was the finding that it was possible to reach heavy smokers and to engage them in tobacco cessation activities through a centralized program of low intensity services. Data are presented on member characteristics associated with use/non-use of the various low intensity resources and suggestions are made for wider use of such interventions in other health care systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalHealth education research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grant PO1 CA44648 from the National Cancer Institute. We wish to thank Kathy Pearson for assistance in data collection; Cristi Daggett, Jean Jennings and Gail Morgan for distribution of low intensity materials; Stephanie Hertert, Leilani Wilson, Pam White and their staff for answering TALK calls; Paul McGovern, Gary Miranda and Wes Wait Design for design and production assistance with the newsletter; John Hall for designing the computerized tracking system; and Drs Tom Vogt and Ed Lichtenstein, the TRACC project directors, for their support and feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript. Appreciation is also expressed to Dr Donald Prue and Health Innovations, Inc., for supplying the LifeSign units.


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