Programs | Tobacco Use Cessation Interventions

Tobacco-use cessation programs1-5

Employee programs refer to activities that include active employee involvement, such as classes or telephone quitlines. Employee programs are frequently provided on-site at the workplace.

Education and social support programs in the workplace are effective

  • One-on-one screening for tobacco use and tobacco cessation counseling with a health provider are effective in helping tobacco users successfully quit
  • However, only 50% to 60% of smokers receive advice about quitting smoking from a health care provider, and only 39% of smokers are offered over-the-counter or prescription medication or counseling to support the quitting process
  • Health risk appraisals (HRA) or employee health surveys in the workplace provide assessment and implementation opportunities. However, it is important to recognize that tobacco users do not always self-identify
  • Identify the employees who use tobacco, such as through the use of an employee health survey or by screening employees for their tobacco status, and then provide follow-up counseling and treatment. Approaches may include referral to outside organizations or quitlines (state-based or self-contracted) that offer these services or bringing a health educator or tobacco cessation counselor on-site
  • Counseling or assistance is usually delivered by trained counselors or health care providers. Use of telephone quitlines can initiate and reinforce a user’s efforts to quit. Telephone sessions usually follow a standardized approach to providing advice and counseling, and can be combined with other efforts, such as distributing materials about quitting, formal counseling sessions for an individual or group, or nicotine replacement therapies such as patches or gum



1.  DHHS, Agency for Healthcare Research and Policy, The United States Preventive Services Task Force. Counseling to prevent tobacco use. [cited 2008 Oct 13].

2.  AHCPR Supported Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence Guideline Panel. Clinical practice guidelines, treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. [cited 2008 Oct 13]. Available from:

3.  Campbell KP, Lanza A, Dixon R, Chattopadhyay S, Molinari N, Finch RA, editors. A Purchaser’s Guide to Clinical Preventive Services: Moving Science into Coverage. Washington, DC: National Business Group on Health; 2006.

4.  Task Force on Community Preventive Services. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Available from: [PDF – 363KB].

5.  Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Effectiveness of mass media campaigns to reduce initiation of tobacco use and increase cessation. The Guide to Community Preventive Services. [cited 2008 Oct 13]. Available from: [PDF-225KB]