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Center for Social and Behavioral Research

Current Projects

The Iowa Tobacco Cessation Program Evaluation


The Iowa Department of Public Health Division of Tobacco Use Prevention and Control funds two programs which support Iowans who want to quit using tobacco products. Quitline Iowa (operated by National Jewish Health in Denver, CO) offers telephone-based cessation counseling services as well as two weeks of free nicotine replacement pathces, gum, or lozenges to all callers. The Tobacco Cessation Program for Underserved Iowans offers free pharmacotherapy and cessation counseling to all Iowa patients of participating community health centers in the Iowa/Nebraska Primary Care Association. Patients are eligible for up to 12 weeks of pharmacotherapy plus counseling. The Tobacco Division contracted with CSBR to evaluate these two programs.

Designing an Evaluation:

The primary research question developed to frame the evaluation is:

Do the services offered by Quitline Iowa and the clinic-based program achieve acceptable rates of tobacco cessation by those receiving services?

The CSBR evaluation team designed a quasi-experimental, multi-method evaluation which includes both process and outcome measures. Three methods are used: follow-up interviews with independent samples of participants in both programs at 3, 6, and 12 months after starting the program; secret shopper calls with Quitline Iowa; and medical chart reviews of clinic program participants and non-participants.


Cessation rates among participants of both programs at all three follow-up periods are approximately 20%. To put that rate into perspective, about 5% of people who try to quit cold turkey are successful.

Additional information about the evaluation, including additional findings, may be found in the FY2009 Evaluation Report.